Michigan: New Medical Marijuana Laws In Detroit; 82 Apply To Operate Dispensaries
By Steve Elliott
Detroit has a new set of medical marijuana laws that officially went into effect last week, requiring owners of cannabis dispensaries to have a license to do business.
The new rules were put into effect after months of back-and-forth, reports Charlie Langton at Fox 2 Detroit. Under the new laws, shops have a one-month window in which to apply for a business license. The city can shut down shops if owners don't begin the application process by March 31, reports Joe Guillen at the Detroit Free Press.
Dispensaries like Dank House, Motown Meds and Your Grass Station were among the 82 businesses that on Tuesday applied to operate dispensaries.
"It has to be regulated with the city; we have to work together," said Wesam Younes, owner of dispensary Chronic Solutions. "Floor plans, site plans, a lot of applications, a lot of information you have to give, a lot of information they need from me."
Detroit is also requiring background checks; owners aren't allowed to have any felony convictions. The new regulations are part of an effort to cut down on the number of dispensaries in the city, currently at around 211 shops.
Councilman Scott Benson said he expects the city to approve fewer than 80 business licenses for dispensaries. "I'm thinking it's going to be significantly less than (80) when we're all said and done," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting our arms around this industry because it's way out of control right now."
"I believe it's a beautiful day in history of Michigan because it's the first step to legalization," said an optimstic Martinez Flowers.
Dispensaries, under the new rules, aren't allowed to open within 1,000 feet of a liquor store (why the heck not?), a church, a school, or another dispensary.
"They need to shut them down," Younes said. "They ones that are working properly, they need to stay open. The ones that are doing illegal things and not looking too good, if there are too many of them in certain areas, shut them down."
Graphic: Culture Magazine