By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
The Village of Oxford Planning Commission approved two adult-use recreational marijuana dispensaries at its Tuesday, March 15 meeting, the village’s third and fourth approved dispensaries.
The first dispensary approved was Gage Cannabis. Gage opened in Ferndale in 2019 and has expanded to 12 locations around Michigan. Gage will be at 450 S. Glaspie St. in a 15,660 square foot building with 4,600 square feet dedicated to retail space and the remainder being non-cannabis storage. 22 parking spaces will be for customers and 10 for employees, including one to three contracted security staff.
Commission member Kelly Arkles raised concerns regarding the site’s proximity to the Oxford Lakes subdivision and wanted the store invisible from the neighborhood. Ken Hall, Gage construction manager, recommended placing a fence with security slats in the existing woods between the site and subdivision.
Arkels asked what plans Gage has for community outreach, and Hall responded that employees are required to commit 24 hours of work at a food bank. Gage has also worked with Habitat for Humanity in other communities.
Hall expects a mild opening week due to there being less excitement around new dispensary openings. He recalled the opening weekend at Gage’s Kalamazoo store where the 15-car parking lot never filled up.
The commission conditionally approved the site plan 7-0, final approval pending upon submitting a revised site plan with recommendations from the planner and the commissioners.
The second dispensary approved was for 453 S. Broadway, Inc. (453) and will be at 1000 Industrial Dr. 453 S. Broadway is where Liv Cannabis Co., a subsidiary of Common Citizen, is opening in Lake Orion. Common Citizen opened in Flint in 2019 and has 11 stores around Michigan.
1000 Industrial Dr. is currently used for boat storage and has two buildings on its roughly 2.1 acre site, the larger of which will be used as a 3,750 square foot retail facility. 14 parking spaces will be dedicated to in-store customers, three for curbside customers and 15 for employees. Boats will be removed from the site once ownership changes.
Various issues came up in the meeting dealing with parcel rights, fencing, landscaping and the lack of an odor control plan, leading to commission member Leslie Pielack to consider postponing the approval. The idea was dropped when it was mentioned dispensaries need to be 100% complete to their plans in order to operate and delaying approval could keep 453 from opening up for a whole year.
453 mentioned the company has done a variety of community outreach and benefit plans, including making yearly monetary and community service contributions to Westland and Lake Orion. Other such plans have been “tangential” and not official.
The commission conditionally approved 453’s site plan 6-1, commission member Jonathan Nold providing the no vote. Final approval is contingent on submitting revised site plans, landscaping plans, an approved odor control plan and approval from village police and the Oxford Fire Department.
By Dean Vaglia
Thank you for all you guys do. Correction, my name is Kelly Arkles (not Arkells). Would appreciate a correction for future publications.
updated! thanks for the heads up.