Detroit Delays Vote on Adult-Use Regulations

The Detroit City Council delayed voting on its adult-use cannabis regulations again due to an ongoing debate around its social equity licensing provisions.

Full story after the jump.

The Detroit, Michigan City Council has again delayed a vote on its long-awaited adult-use cannabis regulations until April 5, MJBizDaily reports. Detroit first approved an initial set of rules in November 2020, but a residency requirement – the Detroit Legacy Applicant – in the ordinance was challenged in court in early 2021, delaying any action by the council; however, a judge recently tossed the residency requirement on the grounds it was “likely un-Constitutional.”

The council only began the rule revamp last month, says MJBizDaily.

The new plan includes the approval of 100 cannabis licenses, up from 76, half of which are reserved for social equity applicants. This is a change from the scrapped plan which said 50% of the licenses must go to so-called legacy applicants. At the time the ordinance was passed in 2020, Mayor Mike Duggan (D) called the residency requirement “by far the most controversial provision.” The city will not issue a license to any business unless half of the licenses in that category are Detroiters.

Although the language is different, the defunct legacy provision and the addition of social equity stipulations in Detroit’s adult-use regulations may accomplish the same goals. The suggestion that applicants must be from Detroit was included to correct the harms caused to Michigan communities by the war on drugs. Notably, Detroit City Councilman James Tate said in 2020 that the inclusion of the legacy program “was imperative” for officials to right the wrong.

“We have individuals who are making a very good living on marijuana today,” Tate said. “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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