The Detroit, Michigan city skyline.

Nic Redhead

Detroit, Michigan’s medical cannabis licensing process is on hold after a business group filed suit against the state claiming they were denied a business license under the new regime because they violated Detroit’s old ordinance, the Detroit Free Press reports. If the suit drags on until Feb. 15, all current operators licensed under the city’s emergency rules could be forced to shut down.

Detroit’s rules allow the city’s currently operating dispensaries to stay in businesses until Feb. 15 as they work toward final approvals; however, none of the dispensaries have yet obtained such approval.

“All the dispensaries operating in the city are going to have to shut down. Everybody who is a card holder in Detroit is going to be impacted.” – Amir Makled, attorney for Advanced Wellness dispensaries in Detroit to the Free Press

David Harns, a spokesman for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, indicated that those who do not receive final approval by Feb. 15 and choose to stay open could be at risk of being denied a state license for failing to adhere to the rules, according to the report.

“This just does a great deal of harm for all the stakeholders. Hopefully we can find a solution before the 15th.” – Jonathan Barlow, spokesman for Sensible Cannabis Reform to the Free Press

Michael Stein, the attorney for the seven to 10 businesses who filed the suit, said his clients were denied a medical cannabis operator license because they didn’t meet the zoning requirements of the old ordinance; however, the new rules – approved by Detroit voters in November – reduce the required distance for medical dispensaries from schools, parks, and daycare centers from 1,000 to 500 feet and Stein argues that his clients should qualify under the new regime.

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