The Detroit, Michigan City Council has approved a new and more inclusive adult-use cannabis ordinance more than two years after the city opted to allow industry operations, the Detroit News reports. The 8-1 approval comes after a federal judge ruled last year that the city’s plan to give adult-use cannabis licensing preference to Motor City residents was “likely unconstitutional.”
The measure was introduced by Mayor Pro Tem James Tate in February and uses the same language as the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s social equity program, which opens benefits to all residents from 184 communities in the state that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, rather than just Detroiters, the report says.
“I am thankful that Detroit will finally join the 23 municipalities in Michigan that have allowed adult-use cannabis licensing within its borders. But the goal has never been to simply have licensing within the city, but to create policy that works to address the inequities that so many Detroiters have experienced trying to pursue an opportunity in this industry.” – Tate via the News
Under the plan, there are still opportunities for Detroit residents. If a Detroiter owns a 51% stake in a business, they can be certified as a “Detroit Legacy” applicant and be able to benefit from city assistance with business plans, reduced fees, discounted zoned city properties, and networking.
Twenty retailer licenses will be available in the first licensing round, along with five microbusiness licenses and five social consumption licenses. These licenses will be available for both social equity and non-equity applicants, the report says. The second round will include 15 retail, five microbusiness, and five consumption licenses available for each track of applicants.
The ordinance takes effect on April 20; however, the official licensing date will be determined by the city’s Civil Rights, Inclusion, & Opportunity Department (CRIO) – which must then be approved by the council. CRIO officials have indicated they will need 90 days to hire a third-party scoring firm for the license applications and to identify a program to host the lottery for any remaining licenses if there are ties in the scoring process.
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