Detroit has finally opted-in to the recreational marijuana business - two years later. But, there was a reason for the delay: Ensuring that long-term Detroit residents are secured a place in the cannabis industry. This is why it has taken just over two years for Michigan’s largest city to opt into the 2018 Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.
The brainchild of Detroit City Councilman James Tate, the Detroit Legacy Program is a social equity program passed as part of the Detroit City MRTMA opt-in ordinance. This program grants preference to Detroiters who have lived in the city for more than 30 years, and is one of the most ambitious attempts to ensure that the end of cannabis prohibition benefits the very communities that were so disproportionately targeted by the Drug War.
Some highlights from the new law include:
A special application window that ensures Legacy Detroiters get the first spot in line;
99% Fee reductions. It will cost just $10 for a Detroit Legacy Program recipient to get a city license;
Legacy Detroiters can purchase city owned properties for 25% of market value, and;
The Legacy Detroit Program will include access to special seed funds supported by the city and nonprofit organizations.
Most importantly, the new ordinance mandates that half of all cannabis businesses must be at least 51% owned by Legacy Detroiters. So each new recreational dispensary applied for by someone who lives outside the city must wait for a Legacy Detroit owned application to finish.
So who is a Legacy Detroiter, and how do they go about qualifying for the program?
Legacy Detroiters are individuals who have:
Lived in Detroit for 15 of the last 30 years, or;
Lived in Detroit for 13 of the last 30 years and are low income, or;
Lived in Detroit for 10 of the last 30 years and have a marihuana conviction.
The Legacy Detroit Program is an excellent example of how smart legislation can help benefit communities that have historically been left behind. Detroit should serve as an example for other communities considering how to protect their residents and give them first shot at America’s fastest growing industry.
If you or someone you know is a Legacy Detroiter considering getting started in the cannabis industry, then give us a call! We’ve helped hundreds of clients through the application process, and we’d love to hear from you. If you’re considering getting involved, but aren’t sure where to start, then check out our monthly Cannabusiness Intro Webinar. Our experienced marijuana attorneys will discuss the different kinds of cannabis licenses, the application process, and what you can do to get a head start on your application.