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Detroit City Council approves recreational marijuana ordinance

Selection of medical recreational cannabis at a legal retail store
KYLE TAISACAN/Kyle - stock.adobe.com
Selection of medical recreational cannabis at a legal retail store

Detroit City Council has approved a new ordinance that will allow recreational marijuana use in the city. Michigan Radio’s Briana Rice has more.

Detroit currently has medical marijuana facilities within city limits, but no recreational businesses after a judge halted a previous recreational marijuana ordinance.

City Council voted 8-1 to approve the ordinance on Tuesday. Councilmember Mary Waters voted against it.

Detroit officials say it may take up to 100 days to set up the program that will review the adult-use marijuana license applications.

City Council President Mary Sheffield said she supported the ordinance because voters overwhelmingly wanted to legalize marijuana in Detroit.

"It also means the opportunity, as was stated earlier, to create generational wealth, jobs and revenue for Detroiters. Opportunity for our residents to purchase and also consume safe and regulated cannabis products within our city limits," Sheffield said.

100 total licenses will be given out - and half of those licenses will go to equity applicants. That includes Detroiters living in neighborhoods where marijuana convictions are higher than the state average.

The certifications will be spread out over three phases which will be spaced out three months apart.

Councilmember Coleman Young II said that the reason for the ordinance was not just for people to smoke marijuana and have fun.

"The reason why we did this was to provide equitable, sustainable justice to those who were disproportionately harmed," Young said.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.