Despite a strong anti-marijuana push from some city council members, a large contingent of churches and others — not to mention very convoluted and confusing language on the ballot — Detroiters voted in favor of the Detroit Medical Marijuana Facilities Ordinance and the accompanying Detroit Zoning Ordinance for Medical Marijuana Facilities endorsed by advocates for marijuana legalization, suggesting that a more liberal view is beginning to take root in the city, recognizing the likely inevitability of legalization as well as the potential of a much-needed revenue stream that this city sorely needs.
Not to mention jobs. The legal U.S. marijuana industry — both medical and recreational — grossed about $7.1 billion in sales in 2016. More than 1.2 million Americans use medical marijuana for a wide variety of medical problems, from cancer to epilepsy to depression. Michigan has 178,629 registered medical marijuana patients, a 2015 number. State voters in 2008 overwhelmingly approved a measure to allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes. That led to a massive increase in the number of dispensaries in Detroit, not all of them operating legally. The Detroit Zoning Ordinance will align the city with state law, effectively decreasing the confusion. It will allow growers to set up shop within certain industrial districts, and will permit processors and safety compliance facilities to be permitted in certain business and industrial districts.
The Detroit Medical Marijuana Facilities Ordinance would allow dispensaries to remain open for longer hours, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. They will also be able to locate within 500 feet of a church, another dispensary, park, liquor store or childcare center. Current law is 1,000 feet. More specifically, the proposals will: Opt Detroit into the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act and establish standards to regulate caregiver centers through the city’s Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department