Detroit’s First Black-Owned Marijuana Dispensary Opens Thanks To Social Equity Program

Detroit’s First Black-Owned Marijuana Dispensary Opens Thanks To Social Equity Program

Detroit recently opened its first Black-owned recreational marijuana dispensary.

Nuggets Cannabis Co. celebrated its grand opening over the weekend, thanks to the city’s social equity program, “Detroit legacy.” CBS News reported that owners, Louis Radden and Camille Hicks, applied for the program, where businesses must be 51% owned by Detroit residents who’ve lived in the city for at least 15 years out of the last 30.

It’s also open to people with previous marijuana-related convictions and those whose parents had drug convictions before 2018, according to MJ Biz Daily.

Voters in Michigan approved the use of recreational marijuana in 2018 but a city-approved recreational marijuana ordinance didn’t occur until early last year. Radden, who came into the industry as a medical provider, said opening the dispensary in the city opens up doors for employment.

“The cannabis industry has provided the opportunity for gainful employment with reasonable benefits to many folks in our community,” Radden said. “I am proud to say 100% of our employees at the Telegraph store are Detroit residents.”

Twenty equity applicants were awarded a retail license in December 2022. The city also gave licenses to 13 non-equity applicants after a two-month scoring process and review by the Office of Marijuana Ventures and Entrepreneurship. They received the green light after Judge Friedman ruled against the Temporary Restraining Order that would have prevented Detroit from moving forward with its current Adult-Use Marijuana Ordinance.

City Council President Pro Tem, James Tate, has been in support of retail licenses in this space, as it opens the door for Black-ownership and for families to survive. “Families were ripped apart for $5 to $10 bags of weed,” Tate said. “We’re still trying to get over that trauma today for that same plant that many people today are making a pretty good living off of.”

To date, the city has issued over 30 adult-use marijuana retail licenses.