Detroit Archives - Green Market Report

Dustin WalshJuly 26, 2023


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

Chris Webber’s planned $175 million marijuana development in Detroit remains unfinished in southwest Detroit nearly two years since it was announced.

The NBA Hall-of-Famer and University of Michigan Fab 5 basketball star had planned an industry training complex, a 180,000-square-foot cultivation site, consumption lounge and dispensary at 2599 22nd Street south of Michigan Avenue. Webber’s Players Only broke ground on the site in September 2021 and originally planned to finish the first phase of the build-out in March 2022.

But market conditions that sank marijuana prices by more than 56% between breaking ground and now have kept Webber from advancing on the project. He said the company still has plans but is scaling them back.

“The cannabis industry has really shifted in Michigan,” Webber told Crain’s. “Since the landscape has changed, we’ve had to adjust because we would not be smart to go with that plan.”

Webber said prices remain too low in the state to follow through on planned investment.

“Where do the prices settle? The bottom of the ocean?” Webber said. “I am from Detroit and I love the city, the environment and the people. But this would not be the best time for the community or us in Detroit to have a profitable outcome.”

Webber mentioned that companies that invested big in the state suffered from the price crunch, and he worried the $175 million investment would sink Players Only.

It’s a reality that has been playing out for cannabis companies across the state. Many are under the control of a receiver after running afoul of lenders and tax payments. The largest example is Dimondale-based Skymint, which entered receivership in March after being sued by an investor for more than $127 million. Skymint has since downsized and will be auctioned off as early as next month.

But Webber said his company has no plans to abandon the Detroit site and will still develop it, likely with a smaller footprint.

“We’re not going to abandon that space and we think the new plan will invigorate the community,” the former NBA star said. “But there will be adjustments. The numbers aren’t the same.”

Webber would not comment further on the new plans, citing the previous announcement that did not materialize.

“We have a lot of plans we’re excited about, but we’re not ready to share,” he said. “Given the excitement of the last announcement, we’re being a little more cautious.”

The original plan involved a training center that would offer training and placement as well as programs for getting criminal records expunged and GED certification. In 2021, Webber partnered with California cannabis brand Cookies to launch Cookies University in Northern California.

Players Only also had a distribution deal with Gage Cannabis, now owned by Canadian public cannabis company TerrAscend Corp. Gage operates Cookies-branded stores in Michigan.

For Webber and Players Only to complete the Detroit project, the company will need to secure a Detroit license to open a dispensary on the property. The city of Detroit said it will start accepting applications for the second round of its limited marijuana businesses on Aug. 1.

The city is authorizing only 60 licenses for marijuana retailers, half of which are relegated to “legacy Detroiters” who have lived in the city for 15 of the last 30 years. It’s unclear if Webber maintains a residence in the city.

The city offers unlimited licensure for grow operations.

Webber, however, believes a dispensary license will not be difficult to secure.

“There are a lot of options for a license, like having a licensed partner,” Webber said. “We don’t have a license because we can’t acquire a license. This isn’t a problem, and we’re excited for this labor of love.”

Webber has been involved in getting in the equity space of the brimming marijuana industry as well.

Webber, who owns a cannabis and CBD health company called Webber Wellness, launched a $100 million cannabis private equity fund in 2021 for businesses owned by people of color with Jason Wild, a healthcare investor and president of New York-based JW Asset Management LLC. The Webber Wild Impact Fund is investing with the goal of addressing equity barriers: White people have gotten the vast majority of cannabis dollars in the relatively new industry across the country.

Webber was also placed in charge of New York’s social equity fund and after severe delays closed on raising $150 million late last month.

It’s unclear whether the new plan for the property in southwest Detroit will feature new equity partnerships.

StaffApril 5, 2023


The Daily Hit is a recap of the top financial news stories for April 5, 2023.

On the Site

Ispire Ends IPO Drought for Cannabis Stocks

It’s been a minute since there’s been a cannabis initial public offering, and Ispire seems to have broken the drought as the e-cigarette and cannabis vape hardware company began trading on the Nasdaq Marketplace on April 4 under the symbol ISPR. However, the company didn’t raise nearly as much as it had initially planned when the company filed for the IPO in January. Read more here.

Michigan Dispensary Loses Permit 11 Days After Opening Due to Lighting Dispute

A northern Michigan town revoked a dispensary license for one local location of a small chain of cannabis shops just 11 days after the new store opened for business, over what town officials say is noncompliant outdoor lighting. The store – located in the town of Gaylord, population 4,000 – is owned and run by Exclusive Brands. Read more here.

Detroit Approves First Cannabis Consumption Festival

The city of Detroit approved its first festival allowing the legal consumption of cannabis, a music festival to be held later this month. The 420 Cannabis Music Festival will take place on April 29 at 2000 Brooklyn St. and adjacent areas. The indoor/outdoor event will allow for the consumption of cannabis on site beginning at noon and lasting through the end of the day. Read more here.

Exit of Paychex a Headache for Hundreds of Operators

Human resources titan Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX) essentially announced its exit from the legal cannabis industry via an email sent last week to its marijuana company clients that used it for payroll and other services, leaving potentially hundreds of operators in the lurch. Read more here.

In Other News

PVSP Pervasip Corp.

PVSP Pervasip Corp. (OTC: PVSP) acquired Slurped, a nano-tincture brand, and established Artizen Nano, which will focus on the development of nano-emulsified products for the cannabis and non-cannabis markets. Read more here.


Nevada’s marijuana growers say they are being overtaxed and on the brink of going out of business, thanks to a tax formula that relies on the state’s calculation of the fair market value of a pound of cannabis, rather than its actual wholesale price. Competing proposals to tweak the calculation would each cost the state millions of dollars a year in tax revenue designated in part for education. Read more here.

Washington D.C.

Cannabis advocates will hold a policy forum in the Capitol Visitors Center of the Congressional Auditorium symbolically scheduled for April 20 – the unofficial marijuana holiday. The summit will bring together activists and leaders from government, business, health care, veterans groups, and civil rights organizations to review and analyze the most important cannabis policy challenges and opportunities. Read more here.

Debra BorchardtJanuary 6, 2023


Michigan-based Cloud Cannabis, began adult-use cannabis sales at its Detroit location, becoming one of the first dispensaries to do so in the city.

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new period for both Cloud and the city of Detroit,” said Jacob Saboo, Co-Founder & Head of Retail at Cloud Cannabis. “We are proud to bring our premier retail experience to the city’s recreational customers, while sharing meaningful insights in cannabis education and a first-class portfolio of products with the local community. With big things ahead for Cloud in 2023, we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the new year.”

Detroit Delays

While Michigan started adult-use sales in December 2019, municipalities had the right to opt-out. The college town of Ann Arbor embraced recreational cannabis with enthusiasm, while Detroit found itself mired in lawsuits that delayed a rollout.

“Our goal from the day voters approved the sale of adult use marijuana was to make sure we had a city ordinance and a process in place that provides fair and equitable access to these licenses and the courts have affirmed that we’ve done just that,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.  “Council President Pro-Tem Tate, and our Department of Civil Right, Inclusion & Opportunity and Law Department deserve a great deal of credit for making this historic day possible. The City’s ability to accept applications was delayed in July after two separate lawsuits were filed following City Council approval of the modified adult-use marijuana licensing ordinance in April, and a judge temporarily halted the process before reversing course and upholding the City’s ordinance.”

Council President Pro-Tem James Tate said, “Three months ago, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge declared our ordinance “unambiguous” and “a fair licensing process”. Despite clear rulings issued by the courts, various plaintiffs continue their frivolous attempts to dominate the adult-use cannabis industry in the city in an effort to leave Detroiters and other Social Equity applicants out of the market.” Judge Friedman ruled against the Temporary Restraining Order that would have prevented Detroit from moving forward with its current Adult-Use Marijuana Ordinance.

Ringing Up Sales

In addition to Cloud Cannabis, House of Dank also fired up sales in the Motor City this week. The company has two locations, one on 8 Mile and the other on Fort St.

“Going recreational in Detroit is a huge milestone for us,” Crystal Jamo, House of Dank’s general manager, told the Detroit Free Press. “Just because we’ve been waiting for it for so long that, like, ‘Pinch me, is it real?’”

Cloud Cannabis is located at 16001 Mack Ave. and situated on the border of Detroit and Grosse Pointe, Cloud’s Detroit dispensary offers flower, pre-roll, concentrate, and vape products from top-tier Michigan brands including Mitten Extracts, Wonderbrett, Stiiizy, Pressure Pack, Backpack Boyz, CREAM, Northcoast, and more. The company said a grand opening celebration event will come at a later date.

First 33

In December, the City of Detroit notified the first 33 successful applicants for adult-use marijuana retail licenses that they had been approved. The City’s Office of Marijuana Ventures & Entrepreneurship determined the following 13 non-equity applicants, and 20 equity applicants met all the necessary criteria to be awarded a license:

StaffDecember 22, 2022


The Daily Hit is a recap of cannabis business news for Dec. 22, 2022.


Trulieve Settles Worker Death Investigation With OSHA

Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) announced Thursday that it’s reached a deal with the federal government that will ramp up worker protections at its manufacturing facilities nationwide. The investigation stemmed from the death of Lorna McMurrey, a worker at a Trulieve facility in Massachusetts. Read more here.

D.C. Council Approves Massive Medical Marijuana Program Expansion

Councilors this week unanimously approved an enormous expansion of the medical marijuana program to ostensibly get quasi-legal “gifting” businesses into the licensed medical side of the trade. And it’s all a workaround to how Congress has prevented city leaders for the better part of a decade from standing up a fully recreational cannabis market. Read more here.

Detroit Awards 33 Marijuana Licenses After Yearslong Legal Battle

The city of Detroit on Thursday announced it had awarded marijuana licenses to 33 companies, capping a yearslong legal battle about who gets to sell recreational cannabis in the city. There were 90 applications for dispensaries, “micro facilities” that grow up to 100 plants, and consumption lounges in the first of three rounds of applications. Read more here.

MediPharm Labs, VIVO Cannabis to Merge

Canadian marijuana companies MediPharm (TSX: LABS) (OTCQX: MEDIF) (FSE: MLZ) and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX: VIVO) (OTCQB: VVCIF) are on track to merge next year in an all-equity deal, as long as shareholders and regulators approve. The newly combined company is projected to bring in $36.5 million in revenue per year and become profitable by the second half of 2024. Read more here.


Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) closed on a commercial loan secured by a cultivation and manufacturing facility located in West Virginia for aggregate gross proceeds of $18.9 million. Trulieve will pay interest at a fixed rate of 7.3% for the first five years of the 10-year loan. After five years, the rate resets at five-year Treasury plus 3.5% for the remainder of the loan. Read more here.

Deep Roots Harvest

Dispensary workers from Deep Roots Harvest in West Wendover, Nevada, voted this week to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 711. The workers voted 14-to-8 in favor of the union. Deep Roots Harvest is the only dispensary in West Wendover. It sits on the border of Nevada and Utah, serving patients and customers from both states and visitors that pass through.

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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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