Sep 1, 2022 - Business

Detroit's cannabis retail rollout back in action

Illustration of a piece of marijuana being held suspended by red tape, a hand holding a pair of scissors is about to snip the tape.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Detroit is closer to allowing recreational cannabis sales within its borders.

Why it matters: A judge dismissed two lawsuits Tuesday that sought to prove the city's equity-driven cannabis licensing ordinance was unfair.

  • In the face of criticism over Detroit's extremely slow recreational cannabis rollout — while the suburbs have benefited from the industry for years — the court has acknowledged the city is right, Council President Pro Tem James Tate said at a news conference yesterday.

What's happening: Litigation halted the city's business license application process for cannabis retailers and consumption lounges that were finally supposed to open Aug. 1. Now, after the dismissals, that application process resumes today.

  • The city can award licenses for 40 retailers, 10 microbusinesses and 10 consumption lounges in the first of three rounds of application intake. Half the licenses will go to "social equity" applicants.
  • The dates for the second and third rounds have not been announced.

Yes, but: The city has yet to hire the independent vendor needed to score these applications, though it says the process is in progress.

What's next: The city is ready to roll out a program giving longtime Detroit residents help accessing pricey real estate to open cannabis businesses, according to officials.


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