City Council votes to cap number of pot shops in Detroit

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An overturned marijuana initiative could have relaxed the local control in Detroit this year. 

Instead the Detroit City Council approved an ordinance that will only allow 75 medical marijuana dispensaries to legally operate in Detroit. It will also keep them at least 1,000 feet from churches, childcare centers, schools or liquor stores.

"The number 75. I believe it's a fair number," said Councilman Scott Benson. "We've also now spread out the uses to some of the more industrial areas, which I believe is the better location for these type of uses."

After a unanimous vote, the ordinance, proposed by council member James Tate will cap the number of facilities citywide and add more regulations to the billion-dollar industry.

The ordinance establishes rules for five types of medical marijuana facilities, and locations where it can be grown, tested, processed, transported and dispensed to patients with state-approved medical marijuana cards. 

Tony Quinones from The Green Mile dispensary, doesn't like the ordinance.

"We don't have any city ordinances on the CVS, or any pharmacies," he said. "So why do it on medical marijuana facilities."

Future owners of medical marijuana facilities are encouraged to offer community benefits as part of their application for approval.

Councilman Tate points out that the last time the market decided, before any regulations, over 258 dispensaries popped up throughout the city and many felt that was weigh too many.

Likely the regulations put in place will stay even if voters decide in November to make marijuana legal for recreational use.