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Want to Open a Dispensary in Detroit? This Map Will Blow Your Mind

Published on March 22, 2016 · Last updated July 28, 2020

If you’re wondering why it can be so difficult to obtain medical cannabis in a state like Michigan, Michael Jackman offered up a clear answer last weekend. Writing in the Detroit Metro Times, Jackman pointed readers to an interactive map recently posted by the City of Detroit. The map is meant to clarify exactly where medical cannabis dispensaries can legally operate within the city limits. Jackman wrote:

“By name, it is called the ‘Medical Marijuana Caregiver Center Eligibility Search Engine.’ But it should be called the ‘Ineligibility Search Engine,’ given the way 90 percent of Detroit seems to be covered in some sort of restrictive area inhospitable to dispensaries.”

The map is a gob-smacking testament to the power of zoning. Or rather, the power of city officials to use zoning as a way to keep dispensaries from operating. The map is confusing, as there are overlapping colors used in the circles to indicate different sensitive uses, like churches and schools, we assume — but there’s no legend or explanatory information contained within the map. The eligible spots are those tiny shards of uncolored space, which you actually can find if you look hard enough. 

Screen capture from Detroit's Medical Marijuana Caregiver Center Eligibility Search Engine

The address locator seems to be one of the few aspects of the map that works well. Just for fun, we suggest looking up a few of Detroit’s most famous landmarks, to check their eligibility. Enjoy. 

Hitsville USA: The original Motown Studios and Museum
2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208

Comerica Park: Home of the Detroit Tigers
2100 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

The former site of Tigers Stadium 
2121 Trumbull Ave, Detroit, MI 48216

Detroit Institute of Arts 
5200 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48202

Joe Louis Arena: Home of the Detroit Red Wings
19 Steve Yzerman Dr, Detroit, MI 48226

Ford Field: Home of the Detroit Lions
2000 Brush St, Detroit, MI 48226

General Motors world headquarters
GM Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI 48243

Detroit Opera House 
1526 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226

Fisher Body Plant 21
Fisher Body Plant 21, Detroit, MI 48202
One of the world’s greatest derelict factory buildings. Check out these amazing photographs here and here.

Leafly List: The Top Cannabis Locations in Michigan, March 2016

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Bruce Barcott
Bruce Barcott
Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.
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