Detroit has quietly, quickly and surprisingly become a major hub for medical marijuana businesses, with an estimated 180 dispensaries now calling the city home, according to a local official’s estimate.
Michigan is one of a handful of MMJ states in the country that doesn’t have a regulatory infrastructure in place for the industry. As such, it’s difficult to keep track of just how many MMJ dispensaries are actually operating at a given time.
But 180 in a single municipality is a significant increase from just a year ago, when there were an estimated 75-100 in the entire state, according to the 2014 Marijuana Business Factbook.
That’s an indication not just of market demand in the state and city, but also of the determined nature of the entrepreneurs who want to make the industry work.
There could be a backlash, however, in the absence of regulations.
“This is the next big thing in the city of Detroit,” City Councilman James Tate told a Detroit TV station. “These buildings, they have now just started popping up everywhere and because the state law is not clear on if they’re allowed or not, we take these businesses to court and they just get tied up and they just stay there.”
Tate added that the city has not won a case against dispensaries and therefore hasn’t been able to shut any down.
“Most of these businesses don’t have a permit, they have no licensing,” he said.
Tate said it’s up to state lawmakers to pass some form of regulations for the industry before city officials can deal effectively with MMJ companies.