Detroit Receives 90 Applications for 60 available Marijuana Licenses, including Retail


The city of Detroit received 90 applications for the 60 recreational marijuana licenses available in the first round, which include licenses for dispensaries, microbusinesses and consumption lounges.

Fifty non-equity and 40 equity applications were submitted by the deadline of Oct. 1, with 28 of the 40 equity applicants qualifying for Detroit Legacy status as well, Kim James, director of Detroit's office of marijuana ventures and entrepreneurship, said Wednesday.

The city will issue a total of 160 licenses in three phases. The 60 licenses that will be awarded in the first phase include 40 retail, 10 microbusiness and 10 consumption lounge licenses. Detroit started accepting applications for unlimited licenses — such as for growing or processing cannabis — in April.

Half of all the limited licenses are set aside for "equity applicants." Equity applicants include people who live in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. Equity applicants also include those with certified Detroit Legacy status currently living in Detroit or another disproportionately impacted community.

Detroit has faced multiple legal challenges over this piece of its ordinance. After two lawsuits that challenged the ordinance were dismissed in August, the city moved forward with opening its application process for the limited licenses on Sept 1.

Another lawsuit was filed at the end of last month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, though. That lawsuit claimed the ordinance gave an unfair preference to longtime Detroiters.

To decide which applicants receive a license, the city of Detroit has selected Rob Huth, of the Clinton Township law firm Kirk, Huth, Lange and Badalamenti, to score the applications. Huth was approved by Detroit City Council on Tuesday, and council now has seven days to reconsider their vote before it goes to Mayor Mike Duggan's office for final approval.

"I appreciate the opportunity and I know that the city’s ordinance is going to be groundbreaking in terms of giving equity applications an opportunity," Huth said. "I'm glad to assist."

Huth served in a similar capacity for the city of Pontiac.  

James had said earlier that once the vendor was approved, applicants will find out if they've been selected in a month to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the application.

Region: Michigan

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