Detroit looks to the future of weed with ‘cannabis bars’

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The state of Michigan legalized recreational cannabis last November, shortly after its neighbour to the North adopted federal legalization of the drug, but a group of lawyers in Detroit is suggesting the city look beyond and raise the “bar”.

While residents of the state have capitalized on the legal recreational cannabis change by opening dispensaries–many unlicensed–the Detroit lawyers want to vie for the title of Michigan’s cannabis capital by allowing consumption sites, or “cannabis bars,” to open in the city.

One Detroit lawyer expects to see such bars open in the very near future.

“I think the city of Detroit is going to be progressive, as they always have been,” Barton Morris Jr. of Cannabis Legal Group told Click On Detroit.

Morris’ law firm strongly believes that cannabis users merit a space to safely consume the drug without disturbing those who prefer not to partake.

“Just like alcohol has bars where people can consume alcohol, it’s appropriate because it’s inappropriate to consume alcohol on a street or a park. It’s more appropriate to be confined within a space. The same thing can be said for marijuana,” Morris said.

But he noted that it’s not as easy as simply opening a space for smoking, and that the bars will have to meet a very particular set of regulations to operate on the right side of the law.

“The regulatory agency, Marijuana Regulatory Agency, they’re providing these licenses. You have to apply for them in November, the beginning of November. But it also necessitates permission from the city. So, you can’t just do it anywhere. You have to have the city’s permission, otherwise known as the municipal license,” Morris said.

Morris said that other cities are considering similar options. “The city of Ann Arbor, as well, traditionally has been very liberal when it comes to cannabis laws, has always been,” Morris said.

If approved, he explained, the consumption sites in Detroit will not be able to sell food or alcoholic beverages.

The state will start accepting applications on Nov. 1.

If Detroit does open a slew of consumption sites, it may want to take note of West Hollywood’s Lowell Café, which opens today, and is California’s first legal consumption lounge for smoking, vaping and edibles.

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