Detroit Announces First Cannabis Retail Licenses

Written by Lydia Kariuki

Weed loving Detroiters have been waiting, almost on bated breath, to see legal weed on dispensary shelves in Detroit. It seems like the long wait is finally coming to an end and from early next year there should be at least 33 legal weed dispensaries in the Motor City. 

The state of Michigan legalized adult-use cannabis in December 2019. However, the marijuana ordinance for the City of Detroit has on several occasions been restrained in court for being biased in the favor of “legacy Detroiters.” Last Wednesday,  U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled in favor of the marijuana ordinance, paving way for the rolling out of the regulated marijuana market in Detroit. In the past, Friedman has made rulings suggesting the unconstitutionality of the city’s marijuana ordinance, prompting two revisions to grant wider inclusivity.

On Thursday, Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison announced the first 33 recipients of the Detroit adult-use marijuana retail licenses. Out of this, 20 licenses have been granted to equity applicants. No licenses have been granted to marijuana micro businesses or consumption lounges applicants. The Detroit City Code defines an equity applicant as one who lives in a part of Detroit; that was disproportionately affected by marijuana enforcement and at least 20% of the population lives below the federal poverty level. 

The recreational marijuana industry in Michigan is gunning for the $3 billion annual revenue mark by 2024. It’s time for Detroiters to cash in on the greenrush, or wallow in it as some states have.

About the author

Lydia Kariuki