Last week the Detroit City Council approved preliminary ordinances that would restrict the amount of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. The council's planning and economic development committee wants regulations that would reign in the roughly 150 unregulated dispensaries that populate the city.
The new restrictions would keep dispensaries at least 1,000 feet from schools, churches, caregiver centers and other places such as liquor stores. If they really wanted to be fully restrictive they could bar dispensaries from being within 1,000 feet of an abandoned house; that would likely drop the number of dispensaries to zero.
In case you haven’t heard, the city of Detroit has been in a down period lately; I think I saw it mentioned once or twice on the news. So instead of embracing jobs or any kind of increased economic activity, the city would rather close many of the dispensaries down.
Other restrictions would include not allowing dispensaries to stay open for 24 hours and drive thru service would be eliminated. While I agree that the shops should be licensed, restrictions that kill jobs seems like the wrong policy in a place struggling as bad as Detroit.
For their part, city authorities say they have been getting complaints for other businesses about the plethora of dispensaries. How would that argument go? “There are just too damn many sick people around our businesses?!”
There can be regulation without too much restriction. But the prevailing wisdom among those who don’t know much about medical cannabis is that dispensaries are dirty, bad places that only bring crime and a bad element, when the opposite has proven to be true.
Further votes and feedback from the public are expected before these regulations become law. Hopefully patients in Detroit won’t be hurt and people will get to keep their jobs in the end.