Detroit to Open 2nd Wave of Recreational Cannabis Licenses

Equity applicants receive half of all licenses available in this round.

This story was republished with permission by Crain’s Detroit and written by Dustin Walsh.

The city of Detroit on Monday said it will start accepting applications for limited marijuana business licenses on August 1. These licenses will include dispensaries, microbusinesses, and consumption lounges.

“We are thrilled to open the second round of licenses and continue creating business opportunities for Detroiters in the cannabis industry,” Kim James, director of marijuana ventures and entrepreneurship for the city, said in a statement. “Half of the recreational dispensaries we licensed in round one are majority owned by local Detroit residents and are operating and thriving, which sets us apart from many other equity programs nationwide that may have issued equity licenses but haven’t actually opened many businesses.”

Adult-use recreational marijuana sales in the city began in January after more than two years of lawsuits and ordinance rewrites that delayed the rollout.

During the first round, 33 applicants received licenses with many of them opening operations or selling recreational marijuana at their existing medical marijuana dispensaries. House of Dank on Front Street in the city was the first dispensary to begin selling recreational marijuana exclusively in January.

There are currently 28 dispensaries open and selling adult-use recreational marijuana in the city, according to the city’s tracker. Of those, 12 are certified as “Detroit legacy” operations, meaning the operations must be 51% owned by a Detroit resident that’s lived in the city for at least 15 of the last 30 years. Other equity applicants must live in an area designated to be a disproportionately impacted community by drug laws and crimes.

Prospective applicants for the second round have until August 31 to submit their proposals. Decisions will be made six to eight weeks after the deadline. Marijuana business licenses provided by the city of Detroit are valid for one year. Licensees must obtain a state operating license from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency before starting operations.

In this round, there are 30 licenses for marijuana retailers, 10 licenses for microbusinesses, and 10 licenses for consumption lounges. Equity applicants receive half of all licenses.

Dustin Walsh

Dustin Walsh is a senior reporter for Crain’s Detroit Business, covering health care with a focus on industry change and operations, as well as the state's emerging cannabis industry. He is also a regular columnist on all things health, labor, economics, and more.

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