By Charles Sercombe
If city officials allow recreational marijuana sales, the state is offering would-be retailers a helping hand to cut through the red tape.
Hamtramck is one of 19 cities that can jump ahead of the line for those seeking to open a retail outlet.
The provision was included in the 2018 state ballot legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
That provision recognized that Hamtramck and the 18 other cities were unfairly targeted in the nation’s “war on drugs.”
So far, the city council has not officially opted in – or out — to allow sales, but it appears the council is divided on the issue.
A bare majority, Councilmembers Anam Miah, Abu Musa, Saad Almasmari and Fadel Al-Marsoumi, have spoken against allowing sales and grow facilities.
The council last talked about the issue a couple of months ago, at that time asking for the city attorney to draw up a resolution for the city to opt out of sales.
Recreational and medical marijuana sales is expected to be a billion-dollar industry.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said recently that licenses will be issued this fall for those who applied to run sales outlets.
Hamtramck operators would be offered expedited services from the state to speed up the issuance of licenses, plus receive reduced fees and the ability to tap into state resources.
The other communities slated to get special treatment include: Albion, Benton Harbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Ecorse, Flint, Highland Park, Inkster, Kalamazoo, Mount Morris, Mount Pleasant, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Niles, Pontiac, River Rouge, Saginaw and Ypsilanti.
Aug. 9, 2019