Detroit awards 37 recreational marijuana licenses for retail, consumption lounges
A new round of applicants have been awarded recreational marijuana licenses to operate retail, microbusiness and consumption lounge establishments in Detroit, the city’s Office of Marijuana Ventures and Entrepreneurship said Tuesday.
Of the 65 applications the city received, 37 prospective marijuana business owners obtained a license, with the majority receiving a license to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary. One applicant received a license for a consumption lounge. If the lounge opens, it’ll be the first consumption lounge in the city.
“These individuals and organizations have exhibited remarkable potential and commitment to operate successfully, while honoring the city’s diversity and equity goals,” Kim James, director of the Office of Marijuana Ventures and Entrepreneurship, said in a news release. Of the 37 businesses that received a license, 13 businesses are majority African American owned, five are majority women owned and 21 have majority owners who are Detroit residents, the city said.
The second round of licenses comes nearly a year after the city announced the first 33 businesses to receive a recreational marijuana license in Detroit, marking the end of a yearslong effort by the city to award these limited licenses. Detroit faced several lawsuits as it worked to set up a licensing process that set aside half of all the limited licenses for “equity applicants.”
Equity applicants include people who live in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and those with certified Detroit Legacy status currently living in Detroit or another disproportionately impacted community.
Recreational marijuana products are subject to a 10% state excise tax and early next year, the Michigan Department of Treasury will announce how much of that tax revenue is being distributed to Detroit, marking the first year the city will receive payments from the Marihuana Regulation Fund. The marijuana tax totaled $266.2 million during state of Michigan’s 2023 fiscal year.
In the latest round, four applicants received a provisional certificate to open a consumption lounge and two others received a provisional certificate to open a microbusiness, meaning they met all the criteria except having a property. They have 18 months to get a property, a process that the city will help them with, James said.
The businesses that were awarded licenses still need to get final approvals from the state of Michigan before opening.