Detroit Okays 75 Retail Shops For Marijuana; Half will go to previous residents
The city of Detroit paved the way for adult marijuana stores to open on Tuesday – and, like many cities, how many licenses to reserve for locals are still debating.
The city council of Michigan’s largest city unanimously passed the much-anticipated ordinance with the proviso that half of all licenses will be given to old residents. The idea, of course, is to improve the playing field for small, long-time Detroit residents and entrepreneurs to compete in an estimated $ 3 billion market.
Alderman James Tate led the work on the new law. “Not only will this get Detroiters into business,” Tate said, according to Crains Detroit Business, “it should ensure they have some success.”
Two years in the works
The need to give priority to local merchants became apparent when the city developed the law. That process began two years ago when Michigan voters approved national legalization of recreational cannabis.
“We have seen across the country people who live in the community where the industry is located are frozen and unable to participate,” Tate told the Detroit News.
Additional provisions for locals include discounts on land purchases and the number of licenses issued. Unsurprisingly, the law was backed by a number of townspeople – some of whom already own medical marijuana businesses – who broke in at a virtual public hearing.
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“I and many other Detroiters have sacrificed so much to see the day that will bring generational wealth to our children through legal cannabis deals,” Mitzi Ruddock said, according to the news. Ruddock, a single mother from Detroit with a previous marijuana belief, runs Black Cannabis Access, an organization designed to eradicate economic disparities in cities.
“This is not a game, nor has it ever been a side business for us,” she said. “Detroit corporations will hire Detroit employees to support Detroit families, rebuild Detroit communities, and add to Detroit’s income tax base.”
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75 retail stores planned in Detroit
The new law, which is expected to come into force in January 2021, includes 10 types of businesses, including producers, processors, designated consumption lounge and safety compliance facility. Detroit plans to license 75 retail stores for recreational use.
It has special offers for Detroit Legacy businesses that are open to applicants who have lived in the city for 15 of the last 30 years. lived in Detroit for 13 of the past 30 years on a low income; or 10 of the last 30 and have a previous marijuana belief. The licensing process freezes when the approval process drops the percentage of licenses in Detroit below 50%.
The city learned the hard way how to pave the way for home cooking. Of Detroit’s 46 medical pharmacies, only four are owned and operated by Detroit residents, Mayor Mike Duggan said.
Dave Howard is a national magazine editor and award-winning author. His latest book is Chasing Phil: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents with the World’s Most Charming Con.
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