Detroit’s mayor Mike Duggan is concerned over drive-through dispensaries popping up across the city. Abandoned restaurants and banks dot Detroit’s deteriorating 8 Mile strip, but dispensary owners are revitalizing unused drive-through lanes. Like California’s medical cannabis program, Detroit’s casual approach to medical cannabis regulation doesn’t address specifics like drive-through lanes yet. The mayor recently called for emergency ordinance to curb drive-throughs in Detroit. Medical cannabis proponents disagree saying such a regulation is targeting a few individual businesses and it hampers economic relief.
“We need to get an ordinance passed, because right now we have no ability to enforce anything,” Duggan said at a Sept 11 memorial service. “I think we need to eliminate the drive-through aspect, which has now been added to some of these facilities.”
In Detroit, it’s becoming commonplace for a cannabis business to refit a fast food or bank franchise with a drive-through lane. 420 Dank, a dispensary, recently refitted a restaurant with drive-through windows. “I know the mayor has concerns over drive-throughs, but there are patients who aren’t mobile, who can’t walk in and out of the store, Kim G., owner of 420 Dank told the Detroit Free Press. Lisa Price buys her medical cannabis at 420 Dank after two back pain-related surgeries. “As long as it’s legal and you have a medical card, it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Price. “It’s better than trying to buy off the street.” Locals say Michigan dispensaries Green River Meds and Natural Selections also have drive-throughs.
Some do not believe a drive-through window is a sufficient control point for medical cannabis sales. Councilman James Tate is currently working on an ordinance. He doesn’t plan on allowing drive-through windows at dispensaries. “Right now, I’m not in favor of it,” he said. Lawmakers like James Tate are simply not ready to wrap their heads around the idea of a drive-through dispensary.