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  • Writer's pictureWill Furtado

Detroit City Council Approves Revised Recreational Cannabis Ordinance

Updated: May 25, 2022

April 5, 2022: Two years after Michigan's largest metropolitan area opted-in to adult-use cannabis, the City of Detroit finally appears ready to begin granting operator licenses. On Tuesday, the Detroit City Council (by vote of 8-1) approved a revised recreational cannabis ordinance with significantly amended social equity provisions. Detroit's earlier attempt to break into the recreational market were stymied when a federal judge ruled in 2020 that the City's originally-proposed social equity program was likely unconstitutional for unfairly benefitting the City's residents over those throughout the state. Detroit revised ordinance makes the City's social equity licenses available to residents throughout the state's 184 disproportionately impacted community, mirroring the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency's social equity program language.

Detroit's adult-use ordinance proposes a merit based (or "scored") application system that will provide an additional 100 licenses through three phases of distribution, as well as a separate social equity application process. The three phases of license releases will occur three months apart. The scored applications will consider the applicant's business plan, financing, site control and tax diligence, with the top scoring applicants placed in a lottery for the first licenses. In addition, "provisional" licenses being made available beginning in phase II, and will require applicants to obtain property zoning within 18 months of being certified before receiving their final city license.

Adoption of an adult-use ordinance within the State's largest metropolitan area opens a huge market for Michigan's cultivators and business owners, who were previously limited to the small and less lucrative medical markets. If you're interested in pursuing a cannabis facility license in Detroit or any where else, please contact Furtado Law.

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