Drive-Through Marijuana Dispensaries in Detroit Draw Attention

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detroit 420 dank
Detroit 420 dank

By Marie Veksler – Sep 17, 2015

 Michigan is one of three states where medical marijuana is legal, but no regulations are in place regarding dispensaries or distribution. As a result, the medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the Wolverine State remain unregulated.

Of the estimated 80 to 100 dispensaries operating in Detroit, three have been identified as having a drive-through window service. These three shops with drive-throughs have stirred extra attention and worry from Detroit government officials.

Mayor Mike Duggan described the city’s medical marijuana distribution as having spiraled out of control, and he believes it needs to be regulated as soon as possible.

“We need to get an ordinance passed, because right now we have no ability to enforce anything,”

stated mayor Duggan.

“I think we need to eliminate the drive-through aspect, which has now been added to some of these facilities.”


James Tate, Detroit Councilman, has been drafting a regulatory a city ordinance for months with the help of law enforcement officers and lawyers, and he anticipates introducing it next week.

While the ordinance aims to regulate all medical marijuana dispensaries, the growing concern about the legitimacy of the drive-through locations has earned them a “not permitted” section in the ordinance. Some dispensary owners and patients disagree with that decision.

Kim G., owner of 420 Dank, which opened recently and is displayed in each photograph in this article, pointed out to the Detroit Free Press,

“There are patients who aren’t mobile, who can’t walk in and out of the store.”

Manager of Green River Meds, Kisha Smith, pointed out that many of her customers use the window because they don’t want to be seen inside the store out of fear of being spotted by coworkers or neighbors because the medical marijuana community in Michigan is not always as widely accepted as in states like Colorado and Washington where even recreational consumers are not criticized.

After the ordinance is introduced, dispensary owners will have the opportunity to provide compelling reasons for using drive-through service, but the council will have the final say.