Detroit Dispensaries Get 30-day Window to Apply for Licenses

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More than 200 medical cannabis dispensaries in Detroit will have from March 1-31 to apply for a license to legally operate in the city.

Dispensaries that don’t meet the deadline or requirements will be closed, said Melvin Butch Hollowell, the city’s highest ranking lawyer. Hollowell announced the plan Tuesday, and said notices went out to the 211 dispensaries that will be required to apply or close, according to The Detroit News.

The rules are part of ordinances approved last year by Detroit’s City Council, and intended to curb an increase in unregulated dispensaries in the city.

Dispensaries that don’t comply could face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Applications will be available online starting at 9 a.m. March 1, and be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, Hollowell told the paper. There’s no cap on the number of licenses the city will issue, so conceivably it could be for all 211, as long as each dispensary follows the strict guidelines laid down for licensure.

The ordinance stipulates that dispensaries can operate in areas that are at least 1,000 feet from schools, libraries, child care centers, youth centers, playgrounds, outdoor recreation areas, and houses of worship.

License winners must renew their licenses annually, while rejected applicants can appeal.