Marihuana Businesses and Licensing

The City Clerk’s Office accepts applications for Marihuana Business Permits, which includes permits for both medical and adult use marihuana facilities. There is one application form for both types of facilities.

Applicants must submit Marihuana Business permit applications electronically. Complete applications, including all attachments and a copy of photo ID for the person signing the application, should be sent to

The appropriate Marihuana Business Permit fee(s) must be paid in full within five (5) business days of receipt of an application. If the City Clerk’s Office does not receive payment by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth business day after electronic receipt of an application, that application will be rejected. The fee can be paid by cash or check. Checks should be made out to the “City of Kalamazoo” and can be mailed to:

City Clerk
City of Kalamazoo
241 W. South Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Payments can also be placed in the drop box behind City Hall near the corner of Lovell Street and St. John’s Place or in the drop box for Treasurer’s Office payments on the front of City Hall. These drop boxes are checked daily by the Clerk’s Office and Treasurer’s Office. Please make sure your fee payment includes the name and/or address of your business so that it can be matched with the correct application. Please do not mail cash; place cash payments in one of the two drop box options.

For additional information on the application process please see the Administrative Rules below. Questions about the application process and inquiries about the status of an application can be sent to Questions about zoning regulations and the eligibility of specific parcels for specific facility types can be sent to Assistant City Planner Pete Eldridge at

pdf Marihuana Business Administrative Rules (28 KB)

pdf Marihuana Business Application (227 KB)  

pdf Marijuana Permit Fee Resolution (26 KB)

pdf Chapter 50, Zoning of Marihuana Businesses (2.01 MB)

pdf Chapter 20B, Marihuana Commercial Business Ordinance (160 KB)

Application Process Overview

In order to operate a Marihuana Business in the City of Kalamazoo (either medical or adult use), a business must have BOTH a state license and City operating permit. The City's application process relies heavily on the applicaiton process for state licenses administered by the Michigan Marihuana Regulatory Agency (MRA). Applicants must apply for a City Marihuana Business Permit prior to submitting their Step 2 application to MRA. If the City approves an application, the City Clerk will issue a Provisional Approval Certificate that is valid for one year, and the Clerk will sign the appropriate Attestation for the MRA Step 2 application. After the applicant receives their Marihuana Facility or Establishment License they must provide a copy of that license and their valid (unexpired) Provisional Approval Certificate to the Clerk in order to get a City Operating Permit.

Application Frequntly Asked Questions

Q:  What Marihuana Businesses does the City allow?

A:  The City of Kalamazoo allows all types of Medical Marihuana Faciilities and Adult Use Marihuana Establishments. The City DOES NOT allow Temporary Marihuana Events and does not issue or recognize Marihuana Event Organizer permits. The City refers to both Medical Marihuana Facilities and Adult Use Marihuana Establishments as "Marihuana Businesses."

Q:  Is there a limit on the number of Marihuana Business Permits the City will issue?

A:  No, and yes.  City ordinance does not establish a hard cap on the number of the permits available for any of the facilty/establishment types. However, Marihuana Businesses are limited to certain zoning districts, depending on the type of business. In addition, the Zoning Code establishes two different types of required minimum separation distances. First, Marihuana Businesses are required to be separated from specific uses (churches, schools, parks, etc.), which are referred to as "buffered uses." The uses that are buffered and the required separation distances depend on the type of Marihuana Business. Second, there are required minimum separation distances between Marihuana Businesses. For example, Medical Provisioning Centers must be at least 1000 ft. apart from other Provisioning Centers and Adult Use Retailers, and Retailers must be 1,000 ft. apart from other Retailers and Provisioning Centers. Again, the required separation distances depend on the type of Marihuana Business(es) involved.

As a result of these zoning restrictions, the number of permits allowed will be limited because there are a limited number of eligible parcels where Marihuana Businesses can operate. The specific separation distance requirements and buffered uses are laid out in the Zoning Code, which is available through the link above. However, because the interaction between zoning restrictions and the location of existing Marihuana Businesses can be complex, it is recommended that prospective applicants contact the Community Planning and Economic Development Department for assistance locating eligible parcels for the Marihuana Business Permit(s) they are seeking. To reach a knowledgeable staff member, call the City's 311 Customer Support Center (269-337-8000) and ask to speak with a Zoning Inspector.

Q:   How do I know which addresses/parcels have Marihuana Businesses on them already? When does a parcel become "locked-in" for a particular business/applicant?

A:   Under the Status Reports section below there is a link to a document with the current Marihuana Business Locations. The City Clerk accepts applications on a first-come-first-served basis. The proposed location for a business is locked-in when the application is submitted and remains locked-in until:  a) a zoning official determines the location does not comply with the City's zoning regulations; b) there is a failure by the applicant to meet the requirements of the application and permitting process; or c) the applicant withdraws their application. The document below includes businesses that have their Marihuana Business Permits, applicants that have been issued Provisional Approval Certificates, and applicants whose applications are in-process.

Q:  Does a business need to have Prequalification Status from the MRA in order to apply for a Marihuana Business Permit from the City of Kalamazoo?

A:  No. The City does not require businesses to be prequalified by the MRA in order to apply for a City permit. However, the Provisional Approval Certificate that is issued to successful applicants is valid for one year, and a valid Certiricate is necessary in order to receive a City permit. During that year the applicant must do whatever work is necessary to become fully licensed by the MRA. Thus it is highly recommended that applicants be familiar with the state licensing requirements, and although not required, it is recommended that businesses apply with the City after they are prequalified by MRA.

Q:  Is the City continuously accepting applications, or are do application windows open and close?

A:  The City accepts applications on a first-come-first-served basis. There are no application windows.

Q:  How can I find more details about the application process?

A:  The application process is described in-detail in the Marihuana Business Adminsitrative Rules, which are available above.

Q:  What are the permit fees?

A:  Marihuana Business Permit fees are set by a resolution adopted by the City Commission. A copy of the current Marihuana Permit Fee Resolution is available above.

Q:  I want to open a Marihuana Business in the City of Kalamazoo? How can I find out where to look for potential sites? Where do I begin?

A:  A Zoning Inspector who works in the Community Planning and Development Department can help you identify eligible areas of the City and eligible parcels for the particular business(es) you want open. The Zoning Inspector can also answer questions about the eligibilty of specific parcels for specific types of businesses. To reach a knowledgeable staff member, call the City's 311 Customer Support Center (269-337-8000) and ask to speak with a Zoning Inspector.

Q: What Marihuana Business licensing change occurred on March 1, 2021?

A: The Michigan Marihuana Regulatory Agency began accepting applications for all license types as of March 1, 2021 without prior medical marihuana licensure under the authorization of the Michigan Regulatory and Taxation of Marihuana Act(MRTMA).  The following Adult Use Marihuana license types may now be applied for in the City of Kalamazoo without a prior medical marihuana license: Grower – Class A, Class B and Class C; Processor; Safety Compliance;  Secure Transporter; Retailer; Microbusiness; and Designated Consumption Establishment.

Status Reports

pdf Marihuana Business Locations - 09/24/2021 (74 KB)

Adult Use Potential Land Use Maps

Social Equity Program

The City of Kalamazoo’s Social Equity Policy provides fee reductions and reduced separation distance requirements for Marihuana Businesses where a majority of the ownership (51% or more) has lived in the Eastside, Edison, and/or Northside Neighborhoods (Census Tracts 1, 9, 10, 2.02 or 3) for the three years prior to applying for a Marihuana Business Permit; and/or where a majority of the ownership have lived anywhere in the City for the past 3 years and who have a marihuana related conviction, not involving distribution to a minor. In addition, a discount is available if at least 10% of the ownership of the business was a registered caregiver for at least 2 years between 2008 and 2017.

To become a qualified social equity business, the business must submit a Social Equity Business application form and Social Equity Program – Participant’s Personal Information Form and supporting documents for every person who has an ownership interest in the business, regardless of the percentage of ownership. This application can be submitted either prior to submission of the associated Marihuana Business Permit Application, or it can be submitted with the Permit Application. If this application is submitted prior to the Permit application, eligibility will be determined and the appropriate fee reductions will be applied at the time the Permit application is filed. If this application is submitted with the Permit Application, the applicant will need to pay the full amount of the fee(s) within the required timeframe. If the applicant is determined to be eligible for the social equity program the fee reduction(s) will be refunded.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

 (269) 337-8000
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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