Detroit City Council Finally Approves Recreational Marijuana Ordinance After Years Of Delay

Detroit's long-anticipated recreational cannabis industry is set to materialize now that the City Council has passed an ordinance allowing sales to begin, after many frustrating delays.

In an 8-1 vote Tuesday morning, the Council approved the new rules. While the city has long allowed medical marijuana businesses, Detroit's recreational cannabis industry can finally let it rip after nearly a year of litigation over a rigorous Legacy Detroiter preference program for long-term residents looking to get involved in the industry.

Sponsor of the legislation, James Tate, City Council president pro tempore, decided to remake the rules in a way he and the city's law department expect to pass constitutional muster, reported Crain's. Tate added that he still believes the ordinance is equity-driven and gives enough opportunities for Black and Brown Detroiters to become owners of Detroit cannabis businesses.

"This is providing the best opportunity possible for equity applicants and Legacy Detroiters to compete for these licenses," Tate said recently at a public hearing on the ordinance. "For me, it's important for us to strategically go in and identify how this industry can and should go in Detroit" instead of a more "shotgun" approach where whoever wants a license gets one.

Existing medical cannabis businesses in Detroit have noted that Detroit's recreational cannabis industry has indeed been hobbled by these restrictions and has lost customers to nearby suburban cities such as Ferndale and Hazel Park where Detroiters can easily buy edibles or flower without needing to renew their medical cards.

What's in the newly passed ordinance?

The new set of rules for licensing adult-use cannabis businesses widens the Legacy Detroiter program, calling those applicants "equity" applicants instead, and putting them on a separate "track" so they're not competing with nonequity applicants anymore.

Equity applicants in Detroit would follow the state's social equity program as described in its adult-use cannabis law rather than the rules Detroit came up with.

The state's program is meant to promote and encourage participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities, according to the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralDetroitJames Tate
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on – Prices will increase very soon!