Officials in Detroit, Michigan are shuttering dispensaries but seemingly will not reach their stated goal to have just 50 in the city by December, according to a report by Crain’s Detroit Business. In March, Detroit Corporate Counsel Melvin “Butch” Hollowell counted 273 dispensaries operating in the city — now there are 171.
“Eighty seven (of the 273) are out of business. Seven of those closed voluntarily, and 80 we’ve closed,” he said in the report.
Another 14 have received cease and desist letters from the city, while an additional 64 dispensaries “are in the pipeline” to get closure letters this week, Hollowell said.
The dispensaries receiving letters are running afoul of the city’s marijuana dispensary ordinance, passed by the City Council in December 2015. Under the ordinance, dispensary owners were required to submit applications starting on Mar. 1, with a Mar. 31 deadline. The city received 255 applications from new applicants and existing dispensaries by the deadline. It’s unclear how many — if any — of those applications were approved.
Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a package of bills that aimed to clarify and more closely regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry, which has operated in a gray-market since voters approved the original law in 2008. The new rules allow for dispensaries, which were not codified by the voter-approved initiative and were often raided by law enforcement; however municipalities can pass zoning ordinances banning dispensaries if they choose.
The new rules take effect in December, but individuals seeking operating licenses must wait until 2017 to apply.