Two days after a judge dismissed a pair of lawsuits challenging Detroit’s adult-use cannabis ordinance, the city has opened applications for the first phase of the business licensing process.
City officials announced Aug. 31 that they will begin accepting applications Sept. 1 for adult-use cannabis retail, microbusiness and designated consumption establishment licenses. The application period remains open through Oct. 1.
Business hopefuls can visit www.homegrowndetroit.org to apply.
Detroit plans to issue a total of 160 licenses over three phases of applications, according to the city’s announcement.
Half of the licenses will be awarded to social equity applicants, which are defined as businesses that are at least 51% owned by Detroit residents or individuals who live in other communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
The city will issue 60 licenses in the first phase of applications, including 40 for retail, 10 for microbusinesses—which will allow small, vertically integrated businesses to grow and process up to 150 plants and sell the end products to adult consumers—and 10 for consumption lounges.
Michigan launched adult-use cannabis sales in December 2019, and Detroit City Council approved its adult-use ordinance in April 2022, nearly 10 months after a U.S. district judge issued an injunction to block the city’s previous attempt to license adult-use cannabis businesses within its jurisdiction.
Two separate lawsuits were filed by medical cannabis operators to challenge the ordinance, but Detroit’s licensing process can proceed now that a judge has upheld it.
City officials plan to roll out two additional phases of licensing on to-be-determined dates; during each of the next two phases, 30 retail, 10 microbusiness and 10 consumption lounge licenses will be awarded.
“I am thankful for the most recent court ruling which allows the city to begin accepting applications for licensing in our limited adult-use categories,” City Council President Pro-Tem James Tate said in a public statement. “Getting to this point has been an overly protracted process dating back to 2020 when the first ordinance was unanimously approved by Detroit City Council. Now with the lawsuits and the failed ballot initiatives seeking to overturn our ordinance behind us, Detroiters and other equity applicants will have a fair opportunity to compete for adult-use licenses in a city that welcomes all to participate in the muti-million-dollar adult-use cannabis industry.”