Councilman Tate, Mayor Duggan outline application process for obtaining Adult-Use Marijuana licenses

  • City residents can begin applying for “Legacy Detroit” status beginning January 19
  • License applications to be accepted starting April 1; Legacy Detroiters to have 1st priority in review process, ahead of general applicants
  • Legacy applicants will receive 99% discounts on application fees, at least 50% of all newly created recreational marijuana business licenses for retailers, growers, processors, microbusinesses, designated consumption, and marijuana event organizers issued
  • 10 types of licenses to be available

Detroiters interested in obtaining one or more of the 10 Adult Use Recreational Marijuana-related licenses can take the first step on January 19th by applying to be certified as a “Legacy Detroiter,” in advance of license application window opening on April 1, Councilman James Tate and Mayor Mike Duggan announced today.

The officials shared details on the application process following the recent approval of an amendment to the Detroit City Code which now allows adult-use recreational marijuana licensing in Detroit through the Medical Marijuana Facilities and Adult-Use Marijuana Establishments ordinance.  The ordinance gives preference to long time Detroit residents seeking licenses that will include discounts on land, reduced application fees, technical and financial assistance to Detroit-owned marijuana business start-ups.

The ordinance also includes a social equity program (SEP) which guarantees that no less than 50% of all newly created recreational marijuana business licenses for retailers, growers, processors, microbusinesses, designated consumption, and marijuana event organizers issued in Detroit will be awarded to Detroit Legacy applicants.

“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 Tate.

Mayor Duggan credited Councilmember Tate for his extensive work helping to craft an ordinance that puts Detroiters first.

“Thanks to the leadership of Councilmember Tate, we have an ordinance that gives longtime Detroiters an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from this new industry in their city,” said Mayor Duggan.  “Our work now will be to help applicants navigate the process so they can have the greatest chance for success in obtaining a license.” 


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 January 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 August 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.


For more information about the adult-use marijuana ordinance, a breakdown of the ten available licenses, or the social equity program component, visit


Media Contacts

John Roach – Mayor's Office
[email protected]
Iesha Paul – Councilmember Tate's Office
[email protected]