Council handed existing pot stores the gift of monopoly

One of the curious things about the city’s new marijuana ordinance is that it gives the existing cannabis dispensaries a virtual monopoly.
A majority of the city council adopted the new ordinance, and it is considered by some as a compromise between those opposing marijuana sales outlets and those in favor of this type of business.
The ordinance caps the number of facilities as of the time the ordinance was published in the paper last Friday.
That appears to be three outlets – possibly others if they managed to get their paperwork in order before last Friday’s deadline.
How lucky are those investors?
Imagine if there could only be a couple of gasoline stations, or party stores, or bakeries or pharmacies.
The council has handed these marijuana operators a monopoly. What a gift!
But it begs the question: Why the opposition to allow the free market to determine how many dispensaries can survive?
There is a belief, among some, that the dispensaries will allow marijuana to get into the hands of children and lead an increase in crime. Both of those assertions are absurd, and have been debunked.
Recreational marijuana is tightly controlled, and the dispensaries here have tight security.
Not only that, the dispensaries are located in what were empty buildings. They are now occupied, and the businesses are contributing to the city’s tax revenue.
Not only are they occupied, but all have gone through expensive renovations and have made the surrounding areas much improved.
A win-win.
We also find it amusing that some of those who are opposed to marijuana sales outlets also want to abolish the city’s income tax in the belief that by doing so, more businesses will come to Hamtramck.
Except, unless that business is about the sale of marijuana. Who knew Hamtramck could afford to be so picky?
Marijuana sales have been a revenue cash cow for states and cities. It was recently reported that Colorado marijuana dispensaries have racked up a whopping $10 billion in sales since 2014.
A good chunk of that goes into state coffers too, by way of taxes and fees.
Considering that Hamtramck is financially strapped, it is downright irresponsible for the city councilmembers – and we’re talking about Councilmembers Fadel Al-Marsoumi, Mohammed Alsomiri, Saad Almasmari, Nayeem Choudhury and Mohammed Hassan — to stick their noses in what kind of businesses can operate here.
Posted Feb. 19, 2021

Edited on Feb. 20, 2021

2 Responses to Council handed existing pot stores the gift of monopoly

  1. Resident

    February 20, 2021 at 10:54 am

    What about Nayeem Chowdury? He was against them also.

  2. csercombe

    February 20, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    you are correct. I included him in this online version of the editorial. thank you.

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