Cannabis store proposed in Alpena Township

Courtesy Photo A preliminary rendering of what the proposed new Iconic marijuana shop in Alpena Township could look like is seen in this provided image. The township Planning Commission granted a special-use permit to BTD Holdings, which wants to open the new shop on U.S.-23 South, where the former Little Caesars pizzeria used to operate.

ALPENA TOWNSHIP — Alpena Township could have its first marijuana dispensary open later this summer or early fall after the township Planning Commission recently approved a special-use permit for the store.

The Planning Commission granted the permit to BTD Holdings, which seeks to open the new shop called Iconic on U.S.-23 South, where the former Little Caesars pizzeria used to operate.

The issuance of the permit has several conditions attached to it, township Supervisor Nathan Skibbe said. Before Iconic can open, it must add additional parking and submit a landscaping design plan to the township. Skibbe and Building Official Kevin Paul will oversee all project requirements.

“We are still waiting for them to fulfill the stipulations the Planning Commission requested, and we’re waiting for the final site plan,” Skibbe said. “They are aiming for late summer or early fall to have the doors open.”

Iconic may be the first proposed marijuana business in the township, but it is unlikely to be the last. Skibbe said that, since the township Board of Trustees voted to allow marijuana businesses to operate in the township, several developers have expressed interest.

By allowing marijuana businesses to open, the township will receive a portion of a pool of marijuana tax revenues the state distributes to municipalities. A portion of the money from a 10% excise tax tacked on to all recreational marijuana sales, as well as application and licensing fees, is divided among counties, cities, villages, and townships that allow the sale of the drug, with more money going to those with more licensed marijuana businesses.

This year, municipal governments received $56,453 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness located within its jurisdiction, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

In Northeast Michigan, Presque Isle County received $112,907 for the two licensed marijuana businesses there. Onaway and Rogers Township each received $56,453.

Harrisville received $56,453 and Alcona County received the same amount.

Alpena currently has one marijuana shop open, but two more are expected to begin sales in the coming months. Neither the city nor Alpena County received state money this payment cycle because none were open at the cutoff date.

The state projects marijuana tax revenue to continue to climb, which could mean larger paydays for the municipalities.

Skibbe said the extra revenue will be welcome.

He said the payment, coupled with the $5,000 inspection fee, equates in revenue to about a 0.2-mill property tax. Five or six licensed businesses, Skibbe said, would almost nearly match a 1-mill tax.

“That money could be used as the board sees fit,” he said.


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