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High Hopes for Detroit's Cannabis Entrepreneurs: City Council's Amendment Sparks Opportunity


Detroit City Council has given the green light for additional properties to be opened up for cannabis businesses. In a bid to boost the city's recreational marijuana industry, an amendment to the existing ordinance has been approved. This amendment will reduce the spacing requirements between marijuana establishments and certain other businesses, allowing for more opportunities for growth and development in the cannabis sector.


In a recent development, a new amendment has been passed that will affect cannabis retailers, microbusinesses, and consumption lounges. The amendment reduces the required distance between these establishments and "controlled uses" such as liquor stores, from 1,000 feet to 750 feet. Additionally, the amendment also decreases the allowed distance between cannabis businesses themselves, from 1,000 feet to 500 feet.


While these changes are significant for the industry, it is currently unclear when the amendment will take effect. Nonetheless, this amendment sets the stage for the potential expansion of recreational cannabis businesses throughout the state.

The amendment received a resounding yes from Council President Mary Sheffield, President Pro Tem James Tate, and members Gabriela Santiago-Romero, Mary Waters, Coleman Young II, and Fred Durhal III. On the other hand, Council members Latisha Johnson, Angela Whitfield Calloway, and Scott Benson chose to vote against it.


Tate, a prominent advocate for recreational cannabis businesses in Detroit, has described the proposed amendment as a crucial step for those looking to enter the industry in the city. But it's not just about business - Tate is also considering the interests of Detroit residents who legally use cannabis and would prefer to support local stores instead of going elsewhere. This amendment aims to keep funds within Detroit and not let them flow to neighboring municipalities.

According to Tate the amendment is "light touch but important touch for those who are seeking entryway into this industry in the city of Detroit, as well as those residents of the city of Detroit who do partake in this legal activity of cannabis use."

Detroit is getting ready to accept applications for the next set of marijuana business licenses, including dispensaries, microbusinesses, and consumption lounges. This development coincides with the passing of a crucial amendment giving business owners more opportunities.

Tate emphasized the importance of zoning changes for marijuana businesses this year. Cannabis entrepreneurs have been frustrated due to limited options for suitable properties in the city under the current zoning laws. This scarcity of options has resulted in increased costs and competition for these properties, potentially leading entrepreneurs to explore alternative locations.


The new amendment doesn't change the mandate for cannabis businesses to stay 1,000 feet from churches and "drug-free zones" such as schools. Detroit's downtown and Eastern Market remain devoid of cannabis businesses due to the influence of churches, according to Tate.


The new amendment eases spacing rules for cannabis businesses, but it does not guarantee that the available properties will be bought or rented by cannabis businesses or that the will even be available to purchase.


The Detroit City Council's approval of the new amendment represents a significant stride forward for the city's recreational marijuana industry. By reducing the spacing requirements between cannabis establishments and certain other businesses, the amendment opens up a multitude of opportunities for growth and development within the cannabis sector. Though the specific implementation date remains uncertain, this amendment paves the way for potential expansion of recreational cannabis businesses throughout the state.

Council President Mary Sheffield, President Pro Tem James Tate, and several other members have demonstrated their support for the amendment, recognizing its importance in fostering a thriving cannabis industry in Detroit. Tate's advocacy for the amendment is not only rooted in business interests but also in supporting local residents who legally use cannabis, ensuring that funds generated by the industry stay within Detroit.


As the city prepares to accept applications for the next round of marijuana business licenses, this development coincides with the passing of a crucial amendment that grants business owners greater opportunities. While the amendment relaxes spacing rules for cannabis businesses, it's essential to note that challenges may persist, such as limited property options within the city. Nonetheless, with the door now open for increased investment and business activity in the cannabis sector, Detroit can look forward to a potentially prosperous future in the recreational marijuana market.


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