Detroit’s cannabis market set to grow as judge dismisses lawsuit

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Detroit will soon begin processing a tall list of cannabis license applications

Detroit and its cannabis market seemed to be in a bit of a stalemate, but that has been put to rest after a judge made a decision to dismiss lawsuits challenging the Motor City’s adult-use cannabis ordinance. One of the lawsuits asked the court to allow established medical marijuana dispensaries to receive adult-use retail licenses. At the same time, the other was intended to block the ordinance in its entirety.

Before August came to an end, a judge analyzed the issue and dismissed two lawsuits challenging the city’s recreational cannabis ordinance. As a result of the recent decision, city officials now have free reign to begin processing license applications.

During an opinion in the first lawsuit filed in May, Wayne County Circuit Judge Leslie Kim Smith commented, “Although the city’s 2022 marijuana ordinance is a complicated scheme, it is unambiguous and provides a fair licensing process, which comports with the mandates of the [Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act].”

A group of medical cannabis dispensaries, in that case, challenged a provision of Detroit’s adult-use cannabis ordinance. According to House of Dank, Herbal Wellness, TJM Enterprises Services, and Detroit Natural Selections Enterprises, this prohibited medical cannabis operators from receiving adult-use licenses until 2027.

However, Smith, in her opinion, said this interpretation by the medical cannabis companies was misplaced. A second lawsuit filed mid-year sought to block the ordinance altogether.

Smith also weighed in on the issue, saying there is no preference for equity applicants because non-capital applicants can apply for adult-use cannabis licenses at the same time. Thus, both lawsuits have been put to rest, and the recreational cannabis market in Detroit is poised to thrive.

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