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Detroit officials announce proposed ordinance allowing recreational marijuana sales in the city

Legislation includes social equity program

DETROITCouncilman James Tate announced a proposed amendment to the Detroit City Code to allow adult-use recreational marijuana licensing in Detroit.

The ordinance would give significant preference to Detroit residents in terms of the number of licenses issued, discounts on land and other incentives, officials said.

There would be 10 types of licenses allowed: Provisioning center, adult use retailer establishment, grower, processor, safety compliance facility, temporary marijuana event, microbusiness, designated consumption lounge and secure transporter.

The legislation includes a social equity program (SEP), which guarantees that no less than 50% of all license types will be awarded to Detroit Legacy applicants.

“We have taken the necessary time to craft legislation that is not aimed at excluding anyone from their goals to succeed in this market but to ensure that we legally providing a pathway towards inclusion and opportunity for residents of our city, which has been disproportionately impacted by marijuana convictions,” Tate said.

There are industry professions and grass-root advocates recruited by Tate who will help craft the SEP section of the ordinance. The SEP allows the city to provide reductions in application fees for “Legacy” Detroit residents who have lived in the city for an extended period of time.

There are also discounts on certain city-owned properties that will be available for residents certified as Legacy Detroiters.

“In the past when licenses for marijuana businesses become available, they tend to go to non-residents, rather than those who live in this community,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “What councilman Tate has crafted here in partnership with our law department ensures that longtime Detroit residents will have the opportunity to build real wealth as part of this lucrative new industry.”

To qualify for “Legacy” status a resident must be able to document the following:

  • Lived in Detroit for 15 of the last 30 years, or
  • Lived in Detroit for 13 of the last 30 years and are low income, or
  • Lived in Detroit for 10 of the last 30 years and have marijuana conviction.

Detroit legacy applications who don’t yet have a property to operate their business can still apply for a “provisional” license and will be given one year to find a site.

Detroit Legacy applicants will get a minimum of 50 percent of all newly created business licenses issued in the city, officials said. No license will be issued to any recreational business if it reduces the number of licenses issued to Detroit Legacy applicants below 50 percent.

There will be a six-week exclusive early licensing period for Detroit Legacy applicants.

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