For those who have medical marijuana cards in the city of Detroit, it is no secret that people have begun to have difficulty finding a dispensary that is close enough to where it’s convenient. It seems as though right when someone finds a conveniently located dispensary, said dispensary shuts down almost immediately due to zoning issues.
Since the city proposed its medical marijuana ordinance, over 167 dispensaries in the city of Detroit have been shut down. Officials are saying that these dispensaries were operating illegally, but others say that dispensaries getting shut down because of the new zoning laws have become a little too common, thus becoming a tad suspicious.
Since March of 2016, teams of inspectors have been bombarding local dispensary businesses alerting them, without warning, that they need to shut down their business immediately because of claims that said businesses don’t have the proper business licenses in order to operate medical marijuana stores. Along with these claims, zoning laws have also become a huge issue in the city.
These strict zoning laws that have been set in place are so strict, no cannabis business are allowed within 1,000 feet of churches, schools, parks, liquor stores, and libraries. Because of the outrage on how strict this ordinance has become, the City put in place an opportunity for an appeal. Store operators are able to apply to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance to operate within these restricted boundaries, but it seems as though that this is just to help calm down those who are upset about these restrictions.
Long time Detroiter and cannabis smoker, Grant Williams stated, “I’ve lived in Midtown for almost four years now and I’ve seen almost every dispensary within a two mile radius get shut down out of nowhere because of these extreme ‘zoning laws’.” His frustration coincides with thousands of others. With a city who declared cannabis to be decriminalized, it seems as though Detroit is more strict than ever when it comes to cracking down on cannabis. With legalization being on the ballot this coming November, it will be interesting see how these zoning issues will be impacted or if they’ll stay the same even with the (possible) legalization.