Nuggets Dispensary, City’s First New Detroit Legacy Recreational Marijuana Business, Celebrates Grand Opening


Council President Pro-Tem James Tate, Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, and other city officials joined Black-owned Nuggets Cannabis Co. Detroit Dispensary to celebrate its grand opening last Saturday. Nuggets Dispensary is a family-owned business, run by longtime Detroiters, Dr. Louis Radden and his aunt, Camille Hicks. Nuggets is the first Detroit Legacy licensee to newly open a recreational marijuana dispensary as part of the city’s social equity program.  

"This doesn't happen everywhere. We fought to ensure legacy Detroiters have an opportunity to grow businesses in the cannabis industry, which has had a disproportionately negative impact on communities of color," Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison said. “Social equity means taking action to combat the years of criminalization faced by too many of our residents. Here in Detroit, we are addressing generational loss and building generational wealth back into the hands of the community.” 

Since adult-use marijuana sales were authorized in Detroit three years ago, Mayor Mike Duggan's administration has worked closely with Council President Pro-Tem James Tate to ensure that Detroiters have equitable opportunities to participate in the legal cannabis industry, which is predicted to generate $3 billion in annual revenue in Michigan by 2024.    

“It is an exciting time in Detroit for Adult Use Marijuana. Just a few months ago we saw Judge Friedman rule against the Temporary Restraining Order that would have again prevented Detroit from moving forward with our current Adult-Use Marijuana Ordinance,” said Tate (D1). “I am proud to be able to open doors of opportunity for Detroiters for years to come and it feels good to know because of the hard work we get to welcome Nuggets, a Detroit Legacy licensee, to D1." 


Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison at Nuggets Dispensary
Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, Dr. Louis Radden, Camille Hicks, City Council President Pro-Tem James Tate and District 2 Detroit Police Commissioner Linda Bernard cutting the ribbon at Nuggets Dispensary


Homegrown Detroit is a cannabis entrepreneurship program under Detroit Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity (CRIO) Office of Marijuana Ventures & Entrepreneurship. The program is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Detroit residents by equipping them with tools and resources to establish and expand marijuana-businesses in the city.  

The current Social equity provisions were crafted in an ordinance revised in 2022 to ensure that Black and Brown people are represented in the cannabis industry and counteract the impact of formerly punitive policies by providing these communities with additional resources and opportunities within the cannabis industry. 

An equity applicant is an individual whose primary residence is located within a disproportionately impacted community. Eligible applicants must control 51% of the business or they can participate in a non-equity license application with less equity.  

A licensee's designation of "Detroit Legacy," (like Nuggets) reflects that at least 51% of the ownership have been certified as long-term Detroit residents who have lived in the City of Detroit for at least 15 years out of the last 30.  Low-income Detroiters and those with prior convictions or a parent with a prior conviction pertaining to the sale, possession, use, cultivation, processing, or transport of marijuana prior to 2018 can get this certification after 10 and 13 years, respectively. 

“The Homegrown program was put in place to facilitate ownership and employment opportunities for Detroiters in the legal cannabis marketplace, as a remedy for the disproportionate impact of prohibition and enforcement on Detroit residents and people of color,” said Kim James, Director of the Detroit Office of Marijuana Ventures and Entrepreneurship.  

James also drafted the city of Detroit’s zoning and licensing laws pertaining to medical marijuana, facilitated the implementation of the city’s program under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Last year, she worked with Detroit City Council to develop regulations for adult use marijuana establishments in the revised 2022 ordinance. 

“During the prohibition era, Detroiters were 30 times more likely to be convicted of a marijuana crime than elsewhere in Michigan, and our program addresses that inequity by reserving half of the retail licenses for those who come from communities like Detroit,” said James.  

Last December, City of Detroit notified the first 33 successful equity licensee applicants, including Nuggets Dispensary, for adult-use marijuana retail licenses that they have been approved. 

"I entered into the business initially as a medical provider, but we are honored to be given the opportunity to open one of the first recreational facilities in the City of Detroit,” said Dr. Radden. 

 As we looked at opportunities across the Metro area, we always knew we wanted to be in our hometown.  The cannabis industry has provided the opportunity for gainful employment with reasonable benefits to many folks in our community.  I am proud to say 100% of our employees at the Telegraph store are Detroit residents." 

"The recreational retail space has allowed us to further integrate our medical practice with further pain management options for patients which include pain creams, pain patches and elixirs for chronic pain patients which reduce or eliminate the daily need for narcotics". 

To date the city issued 34 adult-use marijuana retail licenses. Twenty of the 34 were issued to social equity applicants. Nineteen of the 34 retailers are owned by Detroiters with a 51% majority, including:  

  • 10 African-American men 51% majority owners 
  • 7 African-American women 51% majority owners  
  • 15 Detroit Legacy-certified individuals have ownership interests 


City Council President Pro-Tem James Tate has been a champion for Detroit Legacy marijuana ventures
City Council President Pro-Tem James Tate has been a champion for Detroit Legacy marijuana ventures.