Thanks to Crains Detroit for this:
The Detroit City Council on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 unanimously approved a measure that will allow for the operation of recreational marijuana shops inside the city.
Councilman James Tate spearheaded the effort.
Last month, Tate announced the proposed amendment to the city code to allow adult-use recreational marijuana licensing in the city.
The ordinance gives preference to Detroit residents, including discounts on the purchase of land and the number of licenses issued.
Tate on Tuesday said the move culminates two years of work. The marijuana industry, Tate said, is a close to $3 billion business nationally.
“Not only will this give Detroiters an in-road into the business,” Tate said, “it should ensure they have some success.”
The ordinance will permit 10 types of licenses:
Medical marijuana provisioning center, adult-use retailer establishment, grower, processor, safety compliance facility, temporary marijuana event, microbusiness, designated consumption lounge and secure transporter.
City Council on Tuesday voted on amendments to the ordinance. Employment positions must start at $15 an hour. Temporary marijuana events will be subject to community outreach, with requests to hold the events needing to be submitted at least 90 days prior to the event. The events must take place at private locations.
George Mugianis, owner of Detroit dispensary Agronomos, said he’s proud of what he believes is landmark legislation.
“I think this will serve as a model for other municipalities across the country,” Mugianis said. “It’s a great investment in the city, with a system in place for inclusion.”
There will be up to 75 new retail licenses issued, with at least half going to Detroit Legacy applicants as part of a social equity program, according to Tate. The legacy applicants will also receive first priority on the licenses, he said.
In order to qualify for the Detroit Legacy program, an applicant must have lived in the city for 15 of the last 30 years; have lived in the city for 13 of the last 30 years and qualify as a low-income resident; or have lived in the city for 10 of the last 30 years and have a marijuana conviction. Detroit Legacy applicants can purchase city-owned land at 25 percent of fair market value, according to Tate. Prospective business owners must live in the city for at least one year before submitting their application.
Former Detroit Lion Rob Sims, who with former Lion Calvin Johnson co-founded Michigan-based cannabis company Primitive, supports the move.
“I’m for this ordinance for obvious reasons,” said Sims, who established Primitive in 2019. “I’m happy. I’m looking forward to the partnerships we’ll form with Detroit Legacy candidates. I’ve used cannabis for medical reasons. We’re looking forward to touching people with our medicine.”
Detroit resident Peter Rhoades said he’s not for the amendment. He said there is a “skid row” effect that could be brought about with the addition of the recreational marijuana facilities. He express concern with the possibility of some facilities being in close proximity to schools, churches and parks.
Detroit Community Advisory Council member Scotty Boman said the city council’s approval on the matter will pay off in the end.
“I think anything that’s going to open more businesses and make it easier for people within the city to become involved with this industry is a good thing,” Boman said.
The application process is slated to begin in January 2021, with legacy Detroit applicants receiving a six-week reserved application review period, Tate said Tuesday.
Last month, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the city currently has 46 operational medical dispensaries.
Of those, only 4 are owned and operated by Detroit residents.
Michigan voters in 2018 approved a ballot proposal to legalize adult-use of recreational marijuana.
No license will be issued to anyone if it means reducing the number of licenses held by Detroiters to under 50 percent. There will be a cap on licenses for certain businesses due to competition and oversaturation, Tate said in October.
Detroit resident Renard Monczunski said he understands concern about the facilities and possible locations, and the need for regulation in that area. He said the possible financial benefits, though, and too good to pass up.
“The city needs this revenue,” Monczunski said. “I’m worried people will use location as a reason to try to stifle the move. I’m looking forward to the opportunity for growth this presents and the budget help it will bring.”