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Royal Oak considers allowing pot dispensary to open across from school

OSTC serves high schoolers from around Oakland County
Posted at 10:16 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 10:26:24-05

ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN (WXYZ) — This is not the spot to make and sell your pot. That is the message Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Superintendent of Oakland Schools, is sending a marijuana business that wants to open right across the street from a school serving only high school age students from around Oakland County.

Dr. Cook-Robinson sent a letter to all superintendents in the county on Thursday. She let them know that Royal Oak is considering allowing a marijuana business within 1000 feet of a campus their students use.

The Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast in Royal Oak serves about 700 students. They travel from their home school to OSTC for part of the day. They take classes in computer science, construction, culinary arts and other technical or vocational subjects. The campus allows schools around the county to team up and expand offerings.

“We are extensions of all 28 public high schools in Oakland County,” said Amy Gole, Dean at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast.

“This is where they want to locate a facility that will sell marijuana, grow marijuana and process it,” said Dr. Cook-Robinson as she stood outside the school doors, pointing at a building across the street.

The plans for the Gatsby Cannabis Company facility have been posted on the Royal Oak City Website.

The law says marijuana businesses cannot be within 1000 feet of schools providing education in quote “kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12”. That is, unless there is a city ordinance allowing it. There is no such ordinance right now in Royal Oak.

The plans acknowledge the marijuana business would be less than 1000 feet from Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast, but say the school doesn’t count under the law. It does not elaborate on why, but says the school is in an industrial area, where schools are not allowed.

“I think for some reason they want to look at this facility as a trade school as if it were servicing adults. It is not. These students are in grades 9 through 12,” said Dr. Cook-Robinson.

WXYZ reached out to Gatsby Cannabis Company but did not hear back by the deadline.

The Royal Oak Planning Commission plans to take a look at whether to approve this at their meeting on February 8.