Recreational 'Pot Bars' In Detroit? Expect To Find Them In 2020, Attorney Says

DETROIT (WWJ) - Expect to be able to walk into a bar in Detroit, about year from now, to hang out and enjoy some recreational marijuana.

That's according to attorney Barton Morris of the Cannabis Legal Group, who held a "Cannabusiness Seminar" Friday at the TCF Center for people who want to learn all about pot shop and "pot bar" possibilities in Michigan. 

These pot bars, he explained, will sell a selection of recreational pot to patrons over 21, who will then consume it on site. 

Any interested entrepreneur, Morris said, will have to apply for what's called a social consumption license.

"And, yes, there will be places where people can go just like alcohol, where they drink alcohol, (instead) you can smoke marijuana," he said. "I think the city of Detroit will be one of the first where people can go and consume marijuana. It could be smoking it, it could be vaping it...or not...or it could be eating it."

To be clear, the state -- at least for now -- does not plan to grant licenses for the sale of cannabis and alcoholic beverages at the same location.

But what about talk of marijuana-infused booze? "Perhaps one day," Morris said. "There are people that are trying to perfect that particular elixir."  

How many licenses will the state give out? That depends on how many participating municipalities choose to permit.

"So, if the city of Detroit permits 20, then the state will give 20," Morris said. "Municipalities have ultimate control over the entire scenario. So, every city gets to decide how many they would like, what type they would like, and if they want them at all...and I think that's the way it's supposed to be."

Since December 6, 2018, it has been legal for Michigan residents and visitors to have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana on them and, up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home, as well as up to 12 plants. However, stores have not yet opened as regulators continue to work on licensing. 

The ball will begin rolling faster next month, when the state is expected to start accepting applications for recreational marijuana business licenses.

Morris said he expects recreational marijuana shops and pot bars to open in Michigan in 2020; perhaps as early as February, but more likely by next summer. 

Sales on legal recreational marijuana will be taxed, 10 percent on top of the six percent sales tax, with the tax dollars going to schools, roads and cities where the sales take place.

Questions? CLICK HERE to read the full text of the 2018 Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative as passed by Michigan voters.