DETROIT (FOX 2) - Could the stars have aligned any better for pot fans?
On the unofficial weed holiday of April 20, Detroit is now open to entrepreneurs looking to get into the marijuana industry, opening the application process to anyone hoping to open a dispensary, a processing center, consumption facility, or other cannabis-related business.
While pot has been legal to consume in Michigan since December 2019, Detroit has approached its emergence into the industry with caution - hoping to provide an equitable opportunity to residents that may not have same financial backing to get started as a larger company.
The Detroit City Council voted on April 5 to open the city up to accepting licenses. The 8-1 vote was the second time the city had passed an ordinance after it was blocked in court following a lawsuit.
Since then, its chief proponent, Council President Pro-tempore James Tate has tweaked the ordinance to better fit with an equal opportunity approach that a judge used as justification to pause the ordinance last year.
In the newly-passed ordinance introduced by Tate, "equity applicants" includes long-term residents and anyone who has been hurt by marijuana laws but may not live in the city. Tate has long pushed for an equitable approach to advancing the industry in the city to give residents a shot at opening a business, despite not necessarily having the same financing or resources available.
In the original ordinance that was unanimously approved in late 2020, it was legacy Detroiters whose applications were considered first. Judge Bernard Freidman took issue with the timing of the application processing, arguing the preferential treatment was "likely unconstitutional" after Crystal Lowe, a plaintiff who didn't qualify for the legacy status, sued the city.
On April 20, the city will begin accepting applications from everyone - not just equity applicants.
The nearly-$3 billion industry in Michigan has ballooned since it opened to business.
"We are so excited to announce the opening of our Adult-Use Marijuana Licensing program. We are confident and proud of the space that we have carved out for social equity applicants to take part in this billion-dollar industry," said Megan Moslimani, Director of Marijuana Ventures and Entrepreneurship
Find out more how to apply for a license here: https://www.detroitmeansbusiness.org/homegrown