DETROIT (WWJ) - The Detroit City Council has once again extended a ban on recreational marijuana sales in the city.
Last week, the council voted unanimously for the delay, but a public hearing was scheduled for today to allow residents to sound off on the issue.
As a result of another vote Tuesday, the ban will continue through March 31.
City Councilman James Tate, who has pushed for the delay, said he wants more time to establish rules and regulations. Tate's office says Detroit's extension will allow "additional opportunity to continue to develop a social equity program that ensures all eligible Detroiters have an opportunity" to participate in Michigan's new marijuana industry.
Despite the Detroit sales ban, recreational marijuana use remains legal to use anywhere in Michigan under state law. Residents can have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana on them and up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home, plus up to 12 plants for personal use. (Read all the rules here).
After Michigan voters approved the legalization of marijuana in November 2018, the state has slowly eased into commercial sales — with some municipalities opting out, which is allowed under the law.
When recreational sales officially began on Dec. 1, there were just a handful of stores fully licensed to sell pot, including three in Ann Arbor. As of Jan. 15, officials said around 60 licenses had been issued by Michigan's Marijuana Regulatory Agency, including about 35 on the retail sales side.
The sales are 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. Despite a semi-sluggish start, state budget officials believe recreational marijuana sales in Michigan could hit $1.5 billion a year by late 2021.