City of Detroit officials are celebrating the opening of the first adult-use cannabis dispensary that is part of a social equity program designed to ensure that Black residents are represented in the legal marijuana industry.
Nuggets Cannabis, a Black-owned family business, opened this weekend at 18270 Telegraph Rd.
“This doesn’t happen everywhere,” Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison said. “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.”
As part of Detroit’s adult-use cannabis ordinance that passed last year, the city offers assistance and licenses to “Detroit legacy” applicants, who are eligible if they are long-term residents who own at least 51% of the business. Low-income Detroiters and those with prior criminal cannabis convictions can also qualify if they’ve lived in the city for more than a decade.
“Social equity means taking action to combat the years of criminalization faced by too many of our residents,” Bettison said. “Here in Detroit, we are addressing generational loss and building generational wealth back into the hands of the community.”
Nuggets Dispensary is owned by Dr. Louis Radden and his aunt Camille Hicks. Radden is a physician who specializes in back and spine conditions.
“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,” Radden said. “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.”
So far, the city has issued 34 adult-use cannabis retail licenses. Of those, 20 are social equity applicants, which are people who live in a community disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
A total of 19 of the 34 businesses are owned by Detroiters. They include 10 Black men and seven Black women.
Under the city’s ordinance, half of the licenses will be issued to social equity applicants.
“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,” City Council Pro Tem James Tate said. (Full Story)