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The first set of regulations for Detroit’s already booming medical marijuana distribution industry were approved 6-1 by the city council. Dispensaries which already operate within the city will be forced to apply for a license or be shut down.

The new rules state that shops may only legally operate with an approved, city-issued license after they pass a background check, and against the wishes of some proprietors, drive-through service is now prohibited. Twenty-four hour service is also prohibited under the new ordinance, and a set inspection process is being developed. Until now, there was no tracking or operation control by the city, which led to reports of concern from Detroit residents.

Detroit Councilman James Tate commented on the city’s responsibility to respond to concerns about the growing number of unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries. Tate also states that licensing and rule adjustment will satisfy those concerned with dispensary control, and it will help patients to receive medication in a more regulated environment.

“Right now, there’s no ordinance to allow for these places to exist. That compassion is there … because it allows these facilities to exist,”

said Tate.

The council-approved regulations, which were proposed by Tate, also dictate new zoning guidelines. It specifies the distance in which medical marijuana shops can operate from organizations such as churches, schools, public parks and other dispensaries. Many Detroit residents are welcoming the new ordinances with open arms, hoping the new rules will shed light on the benefits of medical marijuana for patients of the city in need.

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