Medical marijuana dispensaries start opening across Bay County

BANGOR TWP, MI — Take a drive down Wilder Road and you might notice green crosses popping up on buildings: The medical marijuana industry is officially open for business in Bay County.

As the state continues to process hundreds of applications required for its Medical Marihuana Facilities Act — a new law that aims to regulate what’s believed to be an $837 million industry in the state — some retailers in Bay County have opened provisioning centers, also known as dispensaries, early under the state’s emergency rules and are serving a growing number of patients.

A dispensary called Hydra Elevated Wellness opened at 4373 Wilder Road after the new year.

And then husband-and-wife duo Jason and Angie Dabrowski opened their first location of Roots Dispensaries at 3557 Wilder Road on Jan. 19. Inside the spacious location, display cases feature jars of marijuana flowers, inhalers, cannabis oil, ointments, and medibles, such as brownies and suckers.

From day one, business has been booming.

“It was exciting,” said Angie Dabrowski of their first day. “We had people from Traverse City, Flint, the Thumb, Sebewaing.”

Patronage has only increased since then, with her husband estimating 90 to 120 people visit the shop each day.

“Forty percent of them I would say are new customers — first-time visits,” Jason said.

The shop opened under the state’s emergency rules that allow dispensaries to open early while their license is still being processed. During that period, they can only obtain their medical marijuana from various state-licensed caregivers. Dispensaries can start purchasing product from large commercial growing operations after the state approves those permits.

Bangor Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley, who has been a proponent of municipalities opening their doors for the medical marijuana industry, said he had concerns with the emergency rules because the product isn’t being regulated as outlined in the new state

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More than 300 Charges Against Weed Dispensary Workers Have Been Dropped

Grad Murray and Houston Bongeli were both arrested in dispensary raids. Photo by author 

More than 300 charges against weed dispensary employees in Toronto were dropped in the last week, according to the lawyer representing the workers.

On Thursday, a Crown prosecutor agreed to withdraw approximately 180 charges against 90 former workers at Canna Clinics in Toronto in exchange for signed peace bonds requiring them to avoid working in dispensaries for the next two years. This comes just a week after another slew of charges—approximately 128—were dropped relating to the Project Lincoln raids that targeted seven Canna Clinics and six residences in Toronto as well as six Canna Clinics in BC last summer.

“It’s a progressive approach between the Crown and the defence to deal with a problem that police are dumping on the court system,” said Jack Lloyd, a lawyer representing the workers.

“Toronto police should not be arresting young people simply for working at or being inside medical cannabis dispensaries.”

VICE has contacted the Public Prosecution Service of Canada for an exact breakdown of the withdrawn charges and will update this story with that information. Last year, VICE News revealed that 72 of the charges in police’s massive Project Claudia raids in 2016 had been withdrawn or stayed. The fact that the offences aren’t sticking raises questions as to the efficacy of continuing to crack down on dispensaries.

Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash told VICE charges being dropped doesn’t mean the raids are a waste of time and money.

“A peace bond is a consequence,” he said, describing dispensaries as “illegal organizations that are generating large amounts of cash.” Police seized more than $350,000 during Project Lincoln as well as roughly 250 kilograms of cannabis.

However, Pugash said there is a “compelling argument” that the owners and operators

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Torrington, Winsted receive series of medical marijuana dispensary applications

Photo: Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media

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Plans for a potential medical marijuana dispensary at 3598 Winsted Road in Torrington, as seen in city records.

Plans for a potential medical marijuana dispensary at 3598 Winsted Road in Torrington, as seen in city records.

Photo: Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media

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Plans for a potential medical marijuana dispensary at 61 Commercial Boulevard in Torrington, as seen in city records.

Plans for a potential medical marijuana dispensary at 61 Commercial Boulevard in Torrington, as seen in city records.

Photo: Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media

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A map of the area around a potential medical marijuana dispensary on Commercial Boulevard in Torrington, as seen in city records.

A map of the area around a potential medical marijuana dispensary on Commercial Boulevard in Torrington, as seen in city records.

Photo: Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media

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Torrington has received three applications to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city in recent weeks, as the Department of Consumer Protection prepares to license more facilities. Above, the fomer juvenile courthouse at 398 Winsted Road, which is one of the proposed sites. less Torrington has received three applications to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city in recent weeks, as the Department of Consumer Protection prepares to license more facilities. Above, the fomer … more Photo: Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media /

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Torrington has received three applications to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city in recent weeks,

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Hartford bakers propose medical marijuana dispensary zone in Wethersfield

February 23, 2018

Two members of the Mozzicato family, well-known for their Italian bakeries in Plainville and Hartford, are seeking permission to allow medical marijuana dispensing in the town of Wethersfield.

Rino and Gina Mozzicato, who are sibling part-owners of RM Realty LLC, and belong to the family that owns the Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery & Pastry Shop, have applied for an amendment to zoning rules in the town of Wethersfield that would allow dispensaries in the center of town.

It’s unclear if the Mozzicatos, who own property in the town center, plan to open a dispensary if the amendment were approved. They could not be reached for comment.

The proposed amendment would allow the dispensaries only by special permit, in the town center, and at least 1,000 feet from schools or places of worship. A public hearing will be held March 6, said Peter Gillespie, the town’s director of planning and economic development.

Wethersfield zoning laws currently prohibit the dispensaries, Gillespie said.

The application to amend the zoning laws comes at a time when the state of Connecticut is seeking to license more medical marijuana dispensaries. In January, the Department of Consumer Protection said it was soliciting applications for at least three new licenses for dispensaries and hoped to make decisions in the spring.

The Planning and Zoning Commission considered a similar application in 2014 and that developer tried to argue the dispensary was “no different than a CVS or Rite Aid,” Gillespie said. “We did not agree with that. There were all sorts of concerns about crime and public safety.”

Gillespie said the state has more experience with dispensaries since that time. There are nine across Connecticut, including in Hartford and South Windsor, as well as at the shoreline, he said.

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Sweet Leaf Moving Ahead With New Thornton Store

As Sweet Leaf waits for Denver’s decision on the 26 cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary licenses it holds in the city, the company is counting on opening at least one more store, in the suburbs. The dispensary chain’s Thornton location could be open within the next couple of months, according to Thornton city officials.

Sweet Leaf’s presence in Denver was put on pause December 14, when the Denver Police Department raided several of its dispensaries in Denver and Aurora, eventually arresting fifteen current and former Sweet Leaf employees for alleged illegal cannabis sales. None of the owners of Sweet Leaf listed in the City of Denver’s suspension order — Anthony Suaro, Christian Johnson and Matthew Aiken — were arrested, and they’ve yet to comment publicly on the investigation. While those who were arrested make their way through the court system, Denver will decide the face of Sweet Leaf’s licenses in March, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. In the meantime, the Denver locations are closed.

While the chain’s Aurora and Federal Heights locations closed briefly after the raids, both are again open for business. And a third metro location may soon be up and running in Thornton.

According to City of Thornton spokesman Todd Barnes and city clerk Kristen Rosenbaum, Sweet Leaf’s application was unofficially reviewed after Thornton found out about the DPD investigation into the company for “looping,” or selling more cannabis to the same customer than the state allows. Thornton City Attorney Luis Corchado found that the ownership group for Sweet Leaf Thornton was a different ownership group than Denver’s, Barnes says, so the city allowed the dispensary to move forward. However, documents obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act request by Westword show that the stores are run by the same people.

Suaro, Johnson and Aiken

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