Detroit City Council approves legal marijuana framework

Detroit City Councilman James Tate
Detroit City Councilman James Tate

Detroit City Councilman James Tate

The Detroit News reports that the Detroit City Council approved a long-awaited law yesterday allowing the operation of recreational marijuana shops:

Detroit Councilman James Tate led the effort that guarantees no less than half of all licenses awarded in Detroit will go to legacy residents.

The plan, unveiled in late October, seeks to ensure residents will have an equitable opportunity to participate in an industry that’s estimated to yield $3 billion in annual sales, Tate has said. Council members approved the measure 9-0.

Tate said the regulations are the product of two years of work “to identify ways to make sure there’s success” for Detroiters. “We’ve seen around the country where individuals who live in the municipality where the industry is located are frozen out and not having an opportunity to participate,” he said Tuesday.

The city will license up to 75 adult-use retailers, the same number it allows for medical marijuana provisioning centers.

Council members also voted Tuesday on numerous amendments to the ordinance including the addition of provisions that would require that jobs provided pay at least $15-an-hour and that temporary marijuana events be subject to community outreach. Those event requests must be submitted at least 90 days in advance and take place at privately owned locations.

Licensing covers 10 state-approved categories, including medical marijuana provisioning centers, adult-use retailer establishments, growers, processors, safety compliance facilities, temporary events, microbusinesses, designated consumption lounges and secure transporters.

Designated consumption lounges and microbusinesses will be limited to no more than 35 citywide, the ordinance notes.

The city plans to work with philanthropic groups and private lenders to develop sources of funding and expertise to back Detroit-owned marijuana business startups.

Lots more in the Detroit News. Although their article erroneously states that sales would begin in January, Metro Times reporting says that if all goes well, sales could start this month or next.

photo courtesy James Tate Facebook page