DETROIT — Detroit’s medical marijuana centers are finding difficulty in fulfilling the city’s list of strict requirements and regulations.
New figures released this week by the city reveal that only two prospective Medical Marijuana Caregiver Centers out of more than 260 applicants have been approved to operate, The Detroit News reported.
Green Cross opened in February as Detroit’s first licensed center. Manager Simon Berro said its operators were the first to apply under the law that went into effect last March and completed the “vigorous” zoning and licensing process Feb. 3.
“We went to the city. We listened to what they said. We followed their rules,” Berro said. “We took all precautions, and it was a vigorous process, but nonetheless, it worked out in the end.”
The Green Genie also has its license, but no staff was in attendance Thursday.
The new rules allowed Detroit to shut down marijuana shops failing to seek compliance under the ordinance or dispensing medical marijuana in unapproved zones. So far, 136 shops have closed down.
National Patient Rights Association official Robin Schneider said she’s disappointed in the lack of progress after a year.
“(Detroit) has the most exclusionary zoning practices of anything I’ve ever seen in the state,” she said. “I think the fact that patients still do not have access to licensed facilities is a disservice to patients.”
Detroit Corporation Counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell said the zoning legislation will allow about 50 shops overall.
“There will be an appropriate number of locations that will be made available for people to sell the medicine,” he said. “We just want to make sure that as they are opened, they are opening in an orderly fashion and meeting needs of patients required for treatment.”