What you need to know to obtain adult-use marijuana licenses in Detroit

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Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 09, 2020

DETROIT (WXYZ) — In November, the Detroit City Council unanimously voted to approve an adult-use marijuana ordinance. Starting Jan. 19, 2021, Detroiters interested in obtaining one or more of the 10 adult-use recreational marijuana licenses can begin the process.

RELATED: Detroit City Council approves adult-use marijuana ordinance

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done with input from residents, those in the cannabis industry and the administration to craft legislation that ensures equity in Detroit’s cannabis industry,” said Councilman James Tate.

The license application window officially opens April 1, according to an announcement made by Councilman Tate and Mayor Mike Duggan on Wednesday.

Through the ordinance, preference is given to longtime Detroit residents. As a "Legacy Detroiter," the discounts available apply to land, reduced application fees, and offer technical and financial assistance to Detroit-owned marijuana business start-ups.

How to apply to become a Legacy Detroiter
To qualify for the Detroit Legacy program, you must currently reside in Detroit, and be able to document that you:

  • 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 marijuana conviction or have a parent with a marijuana conviction.

The application to become a Legacy Detroiter will be found on the city’s website at: Applicants will need to submit copies of documentation to certify their legacy status, such as pay stubs, tax returns, mortgage or rental lease documents, etc.

The Department of Civil Right, Inclusion and Opportunity will begin taking applications for certification of Detroit Legacy status beginning Jan. 19, 2021.

Detroiters must submit a Detroit Legacy application and pay the associated fee to be certified and take advantage of the program benefits.

License Application Dates
The all license applicants can begin applying for adult-use licenses beginning April 1, 2021 however, under the ordinance, Legacy Detroiters will be provided a 45-day window, during which only their applications will be reviewed. The applications to obtain one of the adult use recreational marijuana related licenses will be found at Below are detailed timelines for each of the application review periods by license applicant types:

  • Detroit Legacy applicants:

Application review begins May 1, 2021

  • General applicants with existing medical marijuana license:

Application review begins June 16, 2021

  • General applicants without existing medical marijuana license:

Application review begins Aug. 1, 2021
Step-by-step guides to application by applicant type can be found at [] or by calling 313-224-3179 (BSEED Licensing and Permits).

Legacy Detroiter benefits
Detroit legacy applicants will receive a 99% discount on licensing fees in 2021 and 75% discount on licensing fees in 2022.

Legacy applicants who do not yet have a property to operate their business will be allowed to apply for a “provisional” license and will have one year to find a site.

A 75% discount on city-owned land will be offered to Detroit Legacy applicants.

Per the ordinance, the City will not issue a license if it will result in Detroit Legacy licensees being under 50% in the specified categories.

License Breakdown
There are 10 types of licenses: Medical Marihuana provisioning center, adult use retailer establishment, grower, processor, safety compliance facility, temporary marihuana event, microbusiness, designated consumption lounge and secure transporter.

For more information about the adult-use marijuana ordinance or the social equity program component, visit