Detroit will issue adult-use cannabis licenses this summer. Somewhat controversially, the licenses are set to go to “legacy” applicants, who are described as “longtime city residents.” The plan and timeline were unveiled by Mayor Mike Duggan and Councilman James Tate.
Applications go online starting January 19, 2021. Legacy applicants will get a six-week head start in the application review process. The mayor urged residents who want to “jump-start their marijuana business” to apply quickly.
According to The Detroit News, legacy applicants must have “lived in Detroit for 15 of the last 30 years; lived in Detroit for 13 of the last 30 years and are low-income; or lived in Detroit for 10 of the last 30 years and have a past marijuana-related conviction.”
Legacy applicants will be eligible for a 25% discount of fair market value on city property and can access technical assistance and reduced fees. All legacy certification applications will be reviewed by the Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department.
A November ordinance passed by the city council calls for at least 50 percent of Detroit licenses to go to legacy applicants.
“It’s by far the most controversial provision. The city will not issue a license to any business unless 50 percent of the licenses in that category are Detroiters. Which means if you’re from outside the city, you can’t get a license unless a Detroiter already has one. We’ll never go below fifty percent.” — Mayor Duggan, in a statement
Leaders say the rule is designed to help communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs access the economic benefits of legal cannabis.
“It was imperative for us to ensure we right that wrong,” said Councilman Tate. “We have individuals who are making a very good living on marijuana today, the same plant that created this situation of mass incarceration around our country in the city of Detroit, so this is an opportunity for us.”
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