(WWJ) Amid ongoing controversy about the explosive growth of so-called pot shops in Detroit, the city has launched an interactive online map to show the location and status of medical marijuana centers.
The map shown here includes the proposed location, business name and whether the shop is open or has been closed by the city.
New licensing and zoning regulations for medical marijuana facilities took effect a year ago, which were expected to drastically limit the number of dispensaries that can operate in Detroit.
As facilities are shuttered, interest in the businesses continue to grow. The shops became legal in November 2012 when voters approved the regulated permitting and licensing of the medicinal substance.
Now they’re easier than ever to find. The color-coded map at shows a dot for every current and proposed dispensary in the city and whether it has been approved, is in the application process, if it’s open for business, if it has been closed down by the city or has closed down on their own.
The website also allows residents to anonymously report an issue with any location operating as a Medical Marijuana Caregiver Center by filling out an online form. The site details the city’s medical marijuana ordinance and frequently asked questions, as well as information and permit forms for those interested in submitting an application to open a location.
“We continue to receive a lot of community feedback about the number of dispensaries across the city and we are enforcing the ordinance, which we think is fair and equitable,” said David Bell, director of the Building Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department. “This new website map will allow people to stay up to date on any one of the locations.”
Bell said the website will be updated weekly by 4 p.m. every Monday.
Until City Council passed an ordinance in late 2015, there were no regulations in place governing how many dispensaries could open and where. Since the city began enforcing the new ordinance last March:
· 281 applications have been received
· 161 shops have been shut down
· 120 are in the application process, 61 of which are allowed to operate in the meantime
· 3 have received full city approval
The federal Drug Free School Zone Act prevents marijuana from being delivered, sold or manufactured within 1,000 feet of a school. State law also factors libraries into the rule. The city’s zoning regulations cover educational institutions and goes beyond that, prohibiting shops from operating near child care centers, arcades and outdoor recreation facilities.
When the process is complete, the city expects that about 50 centers citywide will be allowed to operate.