Detroit hands out 33 licenses to recreational cannabis retailers

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Four years after recreational cannabis sales began in Michigan, Detroit regulators have issued 33 retail licenses.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, 20 social equity applicants and 13 non-social equity applicants won licenses to operate adult-use stores.

Michigan voters approved an adult-use market in 2018, and sales launched around the state on Dec. 1, 2019.

But it wasn’t until November 202o that Detroit lawmakers approved an ordinance allowing recreational marijuana sales.

The city’s regulators were required to allocate half the 160 available licenses – retail, micro-cultivation and consumption lounges – to applicants from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

In addition, adult-use businesses seeking social equity licenses must be 51% owned by a Detroit resident or an individual from another neighborhood harmed by prohibition.

The initial efforts to prioritize social equity in Detroit’s recreational market sparked a series of legal challenges from owners who argued that the rules were unconstitutional.

No social equity applications were received for consumption lounges or micro-cultivation facilities in the first of three application rounds.

According to Crain’s, Detroit will offer two more application rounds, and the next is expected to begin at the end of January.

The first adult-use license issued in Detroit went to a cultivator last May.