The Michigan Court of Appeals ordered Detroit to accept medical pot applications with a key state deadline looming on Thursday.(Photo: AP, file)
Lansing — Detroit is beginning to accept applications for medical marijuana business licenses under an order of the Michigan Court of Appeals, but the city is not guaranteeing it will finish processing any requests this week despite a looming state deadline.
A three-judge panel on Friday issued an emergency order directing Detroit to accept applications as dispensary owners rush to meet Thursday’s state deadline. Existing businesses that do turn in an application and local approval form by then could be closed and denied the chance at licensure under a new state law.
Attorneys representing several of those dispensaries are now asking the Michigan Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation for an extension as they seek approval from the city, which had halted implementation of two new voter-approved ordinances because of a lawsuit challenging their constitutionality.
“The stakes are as high as they can get,” said Michael D. Stein, a Bloomfield Hills attorney who represents more than a dozen dispensaries in Detroit that fear forced closure if they miss the state deadline.
“Basically, they put us in a disaster situation because we timely filed our lawsuit to get Detroit to accept the applications in a timely manner pursuant to the new law. This Court of Appeals decision vindicated our legal position that the city of Detroit must accept applications.”
Despite the state deadline, Stein said he is concerned Detroit will not process applications by Thursday or provide businesses with an “attestation” confirming the local community allows dispensaries, as required under a 2016 law.
Lawrence Garcia, the city’s new corporation counsel, said Detroit will comply with the Court of Appeals ruling to begin accepting applications but