Detroit to start accepting marijuana business license applications Aug. 1

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The City of Detroit announced Friday it will start accepting license applications Aug. 1  for limited marijuana businesses.

The applications will be available online for adult-use marijuana retailers, micro-businesses and consumption lounges.

The city says it plans to award a total of 100 retailer licenses in three phases as well as 30 microbusiness licenses and 30 consumption lounge licenses.

James Tate, Detroit City Council president pro tem, discusses legislation authorizing recreational marijuana businesses during a meeting April 5.

The announcement comes after the Detroit City Council on Tuesday voted to open phase one of limited licensing for adult-use marijuana retailers, micro-businesses and designated consumption lounges.

“I want to thank my colleagues for allowing this next critical step in the licensing process despite the frivolous lawsuits and ongoing attempts to get Detroit's ordinance tossed,” President Pro Tem James Tate said in a statement. Tate sponsored the adult-use marijuana ordinance.

“For years Detroiters have been fighting for an opportunity to compete in the state’s ever-growing market and the time has finally come to reap the benefits of their hard work,” he said.

Read more:Growing like a weed: Cannabis businesses find fertile ground in Michigan

“City Council Pro Tem James Tate deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership on this issue," Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. "Assuring that City of Detroit residents have full and unfettered access to retail marijuana licenses is in everyone’s best interest.” 

The application process comes after disagreement among leaders and residents over how many opportunities for recreational marijuana businesses should be reserved for Detroiters. In April, the City council revised its original ordinance approved in 2020. A chain of medical marijuana dispensaries sued in Wayne County Circuit Court, alleging the city was violating state law by preventing such businesses from obtaining recreational licenses until 2027. 

According to the city, the following licenses will be awarded in the first phase: 20 social equity retailers, 20 general retailers, five micro-business equity, five micro-business general, five consumption lounge equity and five consumption lounge general. 

Social equity applicants include those who live in a disproportionately impacted community, which the city of Detroit defines as "any community where marijuana related convictions are greater than the state of Michigan median and where 20% or more of the population is living below the poverty line."

Online applications will be made available at Aug. 1-31.