Detroit to issue recreational marijuana licenses in summer 2021


Detroit – Starting in January, senior city residents will be the first to apply for certification and secure recreational marijuana licenses by summer, city officials said Wednesday.

Mayor Mike Duggan and Alderman James Tate unveiled a schedule urging residents to get their marijuana business going by first filing for the Detroit Legacy Certification to open online on Jan. 19. The first licenses could be issued to qualified residents as early as June.

The city’s long-awaited recreational marijuana ordinance, unveiled in October, guarantees no less than half of all licenses issued go to elderly residents.

“It’s by far the most controversial provision,” said Duggan. “The city won’t issue a license to any business unless 50% of the licenses in that category are Detroiters. So if you’re from outside of the city, you can’t get a license unless a Detroiter already has one. We ‘I’ll never go below 50%. “

The plan, the city guides said, was designed to ensure that residents disproportionately affected by the country’s failed “war on drugs” have an equal opportunity to participate in an industry that has an estimated annual turnover of $ 3 billion -Dollars earned. At the end of November, the city council unanimously approved the regulation.

“We had to make sure we were correcting the wrong things,” said Tate. “We have people living very well on marijuana today, the same plant that created this mass incarceration situation in our country in the city of Detroit. So this is an opportunity for us.”

Applicants may qualify for Legacy Certification if they have lived in Detroit for 15 of the past 30 years. lived in Detroit for 13 of the last 30 years and on low income; or lived in Detroit for 10 of the last 30 years and has a previous belief regarding marijuana.

Legacy Detroiters receive benefits such as reduced fees, tech support, and a six-week period during which only Legacy Detroit applications are reviewed by the city’s Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunities Department before the rest of the public.

Legacy Detroiters can purchase city-owned land for 25% of market value, and all application fees are reduced to 1% of the total cost.

Detroit officials have announced plans to give certain residents a head start and assistance with applying for marijuana licenses.

“These are for real Detroiters who have community roots,” Duggan said. “Or you can qualify as a corporate heir that is 51% owned and controlled by those with Legacy Certification.”

Despite scrutiny, “Detroit is ready for this huge elevator,” Tate said.

He added that it was rare to see overwhelming excitement about a regulation, but said it was because “now (residents) have this sense of opportunity and hope”.

How do I apply?

The adult use law is expected to go into effect in January. Detroit residents can first check the process on

Starting January 19th, the website will open for Legacy Certification Applications. Applicants also require state certification from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

State requirements include a $ 6,000 fee with discounts for those involved in social justice programs. Applicants must provide government information about the company and have a personal background check.

The state process could take two to three months, and Duggan said Detroit applicants can begin the city process in January before the state prequalifications are completed.

Starting April 1, Detroiters and general applicants can apply for licenses through the Buildings, Safety, and Environment Department.

Legacy Detroiters will be the first applicants to be checked for licenses starting May 1st. General applications will be considered from August 1st.

The license fees for the city are $ 1,000, but only $ 10 for older Detroiters.

“We’re going to change the inequality between Detroit and non-Detroit businesses,” said Duggan. “We’re doing everything we can to give Detroiters every opportunity to start these businesses.”

The city will license up to 75 adult retailers, the same number it allows for medical marijuana supply centers. Officials said there was a pharmacy every two square miles in town.

Applicants need:

  • Detailed business plans
  • Three years of income tax return
  • Background scan permissions
  • Property tax clearance and charges from any illness
  • One address for the business

Those who do not have an address can get a temporary license with a validity of one year and information on real estate. Applicants can send an email to [email protected]

Detroit City Councilor James Tate answers questions about the proposed regulation on adult marijuana establishments.

Detroit officials said only four of the city’s 46 medical marijuana dispensaries – licensed under a law approved by the Detroit council in 2018 – are resident owned.

Mitzi Ruddock, a 40-year-old single mother from Detroit with a previous marijuana conviction, told The News that a seat at the table makes a difference.

“I and many other Detroiters have sacrificed so much to see the day that brings generational wealth to our children through legal cannabis deals,” said Ruddock, who operates Black Cannabis Access and helps urban communities “start the cycle of prosperity and economy break through “disparities. “

“This is the best we could do. It was a process and probably the most aggressive in the country. 51% is huge,” she said.

Ruddock said there are still barriers that need to be overcome by introducing education and outreach for cannabis.

“There are a lot of loopholes in the system. This is how my organization was started because people are not aware of the resources,” she said. “I often do PowerPoint training courses for community leaders because the cannabis education is huge.”

Licensing encompasses 10 federally recognized categories including medical marijuana supply centers, adult retail stores, growers, processors, security compliance facilities, temporary events, micro-businesses, designated consumption lounges, and safe transportation companies.

According to the ordinance, designated consumer lounges and small businesses are limited to no more than 35 in the entire city area.

The city plans to work with philanthropic groups and private lenders to develop funding sources and expertise to assist marijuana start-ups in Detroit.

Voters in Detroit and across the state voted to vote in November 2018 to legalize adult use of adult marijuana. According to state figures, there are more than 1,400 communities with bans on preventing recreational marijuana stores from opening in their communities.

According to the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, adult retail sales in more than 400 locations were approximately $ 376 million.

The U.S. House first voted for marijuana legalization at the federal level on Friday, but the bill has little chance of getting considered in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act would remove marijuana from federal drug plans under the Controlled Substances Act and overturn convictions for marijuana offenses. The bill would also include a 5% excise duty on cannabis, the proceeds of which will be used to help people convicted of drug offenses. The bill went to house 228-164.

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Twitter: @SarahRahal_


Dusty Kennedy