Detroit Awards First Recreational Dispensary Licenses

Detroit officials on Thursday issued nearly 30 licenses to adult-use retailers, more than four years after Michigan voters approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. .

The licenses were issued Wednesday morning after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman denied a request to delay the issuance of cannabis retailer licenses. A judge’s decision was made in a lawsuit challenging Detroit’s licensing regulations. The regulation includes provisions to encourage ownership by local residents of the regulated marijuana industry and those affected by decades of marijuana prohibition.

“Our goal from the day voters authorized the sale of adult-use marijuana has been to have city ordinances and processes in place that provide fair and equitable access to these licenses, and the Court has determined that we Confirmed to have done just thatMike Duggan Mayor of Detroit said in a statement on thursday.

Recreational Pots Legalized in Michigan in 2018

Several Michigan cities began selling recreational marijuana licenses in December 2019 after the approval of a 2018 statewide ballot measure to legalize cannabis for adult use.An ordinance regulating the sale of adult-use cannabis was passed in Detroit last year, but it ran into legal troubles with a federal judge Major rules “It’s likely unconstitutional.”

After that, the revised ordinance was announced at the city council in February. Plaintiffs were again sued, alleging that the city’s cannabis ordinance unfairly favored longtime residents. Plaintiffs in the case had asked Friedman to suspend the licensing process pending judgment, but a judge denied the request Wednesday.

“We appreciate the wisdom of Judge Friedman in today’s ruling against a temporary ban that would have again prevented Detroit from advancing its current adult marijuana legislation,” said the council’s chairman. Rep. James Tate spoke of the judge’s decision.

“We’re making sure we do the right thing,” said Tate, who led the drafting of the ordinance. said at a press conference thursday morning. “I have always said, and I have been told, that if you do the right things, everything will be fine. Well, it will work out in the end.”

The city issued a total of 33 licenses to adult-use cannabis retailers on Thursday. Twenty of them were issued to so-called social equity applicants. This includes people living in communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition policies, and people with qualified Detroit legacy status who currently live in Detroit or other disproportionately impacted communities. increase. The remaining 13 cannabis retailer licenses issued Thursday were awarded to non-equity businesses.

A total of 90 applications were received by the city for the 60 adult-use cannabis retailer licenses available in the first round of dispensing licenses, but city officials are seeking applicants who meet the coveted permit requirements. said there were only 33. The city has also acquired several licenses for cannabis microbusinesses and consumption lounges, although regulators have yet to issue these types of licenses. began issuing licenses to producers and processors.

Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettyson said, “The recreational marijuana industry has tremendous potential to generate not only income for our city, but the personal and generational wealth of its participants.

City leaders plan to hold at least two more retail cannabis dispensary licenses, according to Anthony Zander, director of the City of Detroit’s Office of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity. It is scheduled to start next month with the approval of The City will award up to 30 additional retail licenses, 20 microbusiness licenses and 20 consumption lounge licenses in the next round.

A federal judge ruled against issuing the first adult-use pharmacy license, but Tate said the city should be prepared for further legal action.

“The so-called battle is by no means over,” he said. “We have already been told that we will be sued again. We know that is the nature of this game.”

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