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Detroit City Council passes recreational marijuana sales ordinance

Metro Detroit marijuana shops give advice to first time recreational marijuana buyers. Detroit Free Press

Come 2021, recreational marijuana shops are on the table in Detroit.

Detroit City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed an amended ordinance to allow adult-use recreational sales in the city, which has previously only allowed medical marijuana businesses within city limits.

The ordinance gives licensing preferences to longstanding city residents and was championed by Councilman James Tate, who announced it with Mayor Mike Duggan last month.

“I believe what we are submitting is well thought out, respectful of the rights of all, and ensures that residents of Detroit — which have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs — has a fair chance at the opportunities the cannabis industry has to offer,” Tate said at the time.

Under the ordinance, so-called “legacy Detroiters” will get half of the 75 licenses available for recreational sales.

These are Detroiters who, depending on certain factors, have lived in the city for 15, 13 or 10 of the past 30 years. The requirements also are aimed to benefit low-income residents and those with criminal records related to substance use.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2008, but recreational cannabis was only approved by voters in 2018.

Recreational sales began across the state in December 2019, with the exception of about 1,400 communities that opted out of allowing such sales in their domain.

Detroit was one of them, until now.

The ordinance is expected to go into effect in January.

Detroit opted out of recreational marijuana sales after statewide legalization.