Conversations With Sven Gustafson

This is Detroit’s dinner party conversation, with multiple segments with local tastemakers, artists and entrepreneurs. They don’t call it the Paris of the Midwest for nothing! Host Sven Gustafson is a former journalist and bartender, and a fan of tasty food and drink — and Swedish pancakes. He hosts a smart and engaging conversation about Detroit’s fast-changing restaurant, arts and entertainment scene each week with a variety of fascinating guests and quick-hit segments. Join us as we explore the city through a fun and insightful lens.
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Conversations With Sven Gustafson




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Now displaying: 2018
Jul 29, 2018

On the show today, host Sven Gustafson talks with Detroit restauranteur, chef to the stars, Food Network Chopped finalist and educator Chef Max Hardy. He owns River Bistro Detroit in Grandmont Rosedale and Coop in the Detroit Shipping Company. Both draw on his Caribbean influences.

Chef Hardy also shares a little-known story about being a finalist on Chopped.

Then, Devon O'Reilly from our column Devon's Detroit pops by to talk openings and closings, as well as the controversial Empire on Woodward in Brush Park.

Finally, Chef Godwin Ihentuge returns to talk about a recent sauce caper at his food truck and share his tips for making a great sauce.

Thanks so much for listening! If you like the show, be sure to tell a friend.

Jul 20, 2018

Friends, we're back! After a brief hiatus, the Daily Detroit Happy Hour returns with a fresh new episode.

Truth be told, we've been taking some time to refocus the show and what we're about. So you'll notice some new things. In the interests of offering more variety, we'll be doing more and shorter segments, which was always a goal anyway, at a slightly faster pace. We'll still feature great interviews with Detroit's tastemakers and innovators, but we aiming to better embrace the Happy Hour in the Daily Detroit Happy Hour and be like Detroit's dinner party conversation. We hope you like the change.

On this week's episode, we speak with former Happy Hour guest, chef and "Refrigerator Diaries" podcast host Godwin Ihentuge about pancakes. Seriously: pancakes. Specifically, the new downtown IHOPlebee's. We debate pancake styles, because I have strong opinions.

Also, we scored an interview with Kevin Allison, the founder and host of the great storytelling podcast Risk! They’ll be coming to town Aug. 3 for a live show recording at the Magic Bag in Ferndale.

And finally, Jer and I were lucky enough to be invited down to the VIP opening party for the Detroit Shipping Company, which is the new food court/biergarden/gallery/event space made of shipping containers (check out our video tour of the place here). We managed to pull co-owner John Hartzell and chef Petro Drakopoulos, the director of operations, into the new Podcast Detroit studio there to talk about the place and how it came together.

Jun 10, 2018

The candidates running for governor were out in full force at the Mackinac Policy Conference and we caught up with Jonathan Oosting, political reporter from the Detroit News, about the race.

Then, Sven Gustafson and Jer Staes from Daily Detroit then broke it down from their perspective.

We also spent a few minutes in the beginning on the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain and what he meant to Detroit.

May 25, 2018

Detroit is becoming a mecca for murals. Our guest today is aiming to catalog it all.

Viranel Clerard is the man behind the Detroit Mural Project, which you can find on the Internet machine at The site organizes murals by neighborhood and includes a description of the artist and who it was commissioned by, when known, a link to the artist’s Instagram page, and location of the mural.

He saves his commentary about the murals mostly for his Instagram account, at Detroit Murals.

Clerard talks about how the project got started, how he’s drawn the attention of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, how the city’s art scene is still mostly white and the role of art in building community.

He also is a big fan of the new KAWS statue in downtown Detroit and talks about what it means to him.


Thanks to Falling Down Beer Company for their support of the show.


May 18, 2018

We're getting back to our boozy roots with this Daily Detroit Happy Hour conversation with barchaeologist Mickey Lyons.

She's the talent author behind a recent Hour Detroit piece, "Dry Times: Looking Back 100 Years After Prohibition."

Sven Gustafson — a former bartender himself — and Mickey have a great conversation talking about the old time history of Detroit bars and prohibition, and how drinking changed in Detroit forever. 

The show was recorded at the historic 2-Way Inn.

Mickey Lyons has a book coming out this fall and you can follow her work at her site, Prohibition Detroit.

Of course, if you like the show - you shouldn't miss another episode. You can subscribe free on Apple Podcasts or wherever shows are found. There are also more than 50 back episodes here. 

May 13, 2018

What do you do when a neighborhood… and your city… crumble? Leave? Throw your hands up? Not Mama Shu.

She’s taken tragedy — the death of her son by a hit and run driver, Jakobi Ra — and turned that energy into Avalon Village. Avalon Village is a magical corner of Highland Park where Mama Shu and a group of people who love their city have made a safe place.

A homework house. A place for entrepreneurs. A place for living... and soon a place for playing.

Sven Gustafson for this Daily Detroit Happy Hour Podcast joined Shamayim ‘Shu’ Harris on her front porch on Avalon Street, just off of Woodward, to talk about the grassroots way to rebuild a community.

One that isn’t dependent on tax incentives, but the good will and effort of people.

A little backstory on Highland Park, an enclave of Detroit that’s completely surrounded by the Motor City and Hamtramck, because it’s not in the podcast. Shu looks to the future, but in order to understand the context, you need to know a little bit of the past. Highland Park at one time was one of Michigan’s shining jewels, up there with the best neighborhoods and near-suburbs.

Henry Ford’s Model T streamed out of the iconic plant on Machester, but Ford packed up and left in the 1950s. Chrysler was there too – their world headquarters, in fact – but they hit the road, taking their jobs and tax base with them up I-75 for the Oakland County suburb of Auburn Hills in the 1980s thanks to concerns around safety and a giant gift basket of tax incentives. The state of Michigan even built them their own off-ramp when they got there.

Highland Park has been one of Michigan’s hardest-hit cities. A city that many reading this, if they knew about it, may have left for dead.

But Mama Shu? She’s doing what mothers do. Nurture. Support. Birth. Do her part to make a community whole again.

Enjoy the show.

May 5, 2018

On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we channel our inner "This Old House" and talk about a big, old house in Detroit’s University District. 

Between 6 and 7 is the name of a blog written by Miranda Steinhauser. She and her partner, Brandon Suman, bought a 1927 house in Detroit’s University District — and yes, it’s located between 6 and 7 Mile.

The two Ohio natives have been chronicling their efforts to fix up the place over the last year and a half.

On the blog, they delve into some of the fascinating details of early 20th century construction techniques. They also include a heaping dose of history — not only about the home itself, but some of its former inhabitants and the neighborhood surrounding it.

For this episode, we ditched the studio setting to go direct to the source.

It’s an audio tour of a renovated, historic home, along with some of the great sounds that come with being in a big old house. We talk everything from how they used to construct curved ceilings, to steam heating, the home’s former maid and her Thanksgiving turkey, and we even get a piano serenade from Brandon in the living room. 

Hope you enjoy this podcast mashup of new and old Detroit.

Here's a link to their blog for many pictures and stories:


Apr 26, 2018

It's time for another season of Detroit City FC soccer.

On the cusp of the team hitting the pitch on Saturday, Sven sat down with Sean Mann. He's a co-owner, co-founder and CEO of Detroit City FC.

They play out of Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, and draw thousands of people on average to every game. We had a wide-ranging conversation about the team, the upcoming season, plans to play more games, their community involvement... and the specter of Major League Soccer coming to Detroit and what that might mean for the team.


Apr 20, 2018

Put on your earbuds and sit with Willie Horton, Al Kaline, Jim Price and Dan Dickerson telling stories of Detroit Tigers baseball of yesterday, especially that magical 1968 season.

Also, this is our 50th episode! Be sure to subscribe to the Daily Detroit Happy Hour wherever fine podcasts are found.

If you'd like to support the show, considering becoming a member of Daily Detroit. You'll get your choice of T-Shirt or cool Daily Detroit tumbler.

Apr 13, 2018

Hunger is a real challenge throughout metro Detroit, and an organization at the front of dealing with that challenge is Gleaners.

Sven Gustafson has Children's Hospital of Michigan CEO Luann Thomas Ewald and Bridget Brown from Gleaners on the show to talk about the upcoming Women's Power Breakfast, Women's Power Happy Hour, and their Million Meal Match Campaign. 

Apr 7, 2018

Dealing with health insurance is few people’s idea of a good time — if you can afford it at all, that is.

Now, a doctor operating out of an office in a former Detroit Police Department precinct headquarters? That's flipping the script on the traditional model of health care.

On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health in Southwest Detroit. He’s practicing a model known as direct primary care in which patients pay a membership rate, starting at $10 a month for children and climbing to $89 a month for seniors, directly to the doctor. In exchange, patients get more personalized care, better access and lower-cost medications, imaging and laboratory services.

Dr. Thomas, who graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, estimates he can cover 80 to 90 percent of most people’s health care needs. So he acknowledges it’s not a complete solution to our country’s problem-plagued health care system.

We talk to Dr. Thomas about how direct primary care works, how it differs from traditional insurance-directed health care and how it affects both patients and his life as a working physician. He also tells us about the various ways he’s using digital technology to facilitate his job and market his business.

Find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever fine podcasts are downloaded. Previous episodes are here.

The Daily Detroit Happy Hour brings you ideas, inspiration and insight from the Paris of the Midwest. Got a suggestion for a future show topic or guest? Email

Mar 30, 2018

Detroit has gone Tinseltown … sort of. “The Leisure Seeker,” the new movie starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland that opened in theaters earlier this month, is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Michael Zadoorian, who lives in Ferndale.

Zadoorian stopped by the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast to talk about the film, how it differs from his novel, and his forthcoming book “Beautiful Music,” due May 1.

“The Leisure Seeker” focuses on two long-married retirees named Ella and John Spencer who climb aboard their old Winnebago camper and travel across the country from their home in suburban Detroit to Disneyland in California. Their bodies are failing them — Ella suffers from an unspecified cancer, while John has dementia — and their adult children are in a panic about their ill-advised stunt, yet the book is a mostly uplifting look at life, love and letting go.

The film, directed by Italian filmmaker Paolo Virzi as his first English-language feature, takes a number of liberties with Zadoorian’s tale, and it has generated some rather lukewarm reviews, despite accolades for the performances of Mirren and Sutherland.

In this episode, Zadoorian talks candidly about it all, including how he reacted when he first read the screenplay (he didn’t write any of it), how he got to meet Mirren at a film premier, and the role Detroit plays in his writing muse. And he gives us a preview of “Beautiful Music,” his third novel which is set in the early ‘70s in Detroit.

“She was so gracious, she was super nice,” he says of his initial meeting of Mirren. “The director introduced us. And she said, ‘Do you have any thoughts for the character, or anything like that?’ I knew they were sort of hesitant to even have me there on the set, just because they all had a script, and they were sticking with the script. And I said, ‘You know, I bet there’s not anyone in this room who wants to hear what I have to say.’ And the conversation ended shortly after that.”

The film is currently showing at the Maple Art Theater in Bloomfield Hills.

Mar 23, 2018

Michigan's schools are in trouble. Although many parents believe their school and their teacher is fine, compared to the rest of the nation the state ranks very poorly.

It wasn't always this way. Over the years, other states like Tennessee and Florida have surpassed Michigan. Fighting between factions has locked progress in Michigan's schools in place.

The status quo - for instance, Michigan is one of only five states in which reading skills declined between 2003 and 2015 - isn't going to cut it when it comes to attracting businesses and outside talent.

But there are possibilities. Our guest on this episode is Ron French, Senior Reporter at Bridge Magazine. He recently penned a piece where he went through 12 different reports and shared a bunch of things he learned from them that he shared on their website here. There are common threads.

As so often, Michigan's problems aren't unique. We just need to take action on it. 

He joins Sven Gustafson to talk about the state of education. It's a very informative conversation that should sober you, but leave you with a sense that something can be done.. if we're willing to find common ground. 

Mar 23, 2018

Michigan's schools are in trouble. Although many parents believe their school and their teacher is fine, compared to the rest of the nation the state ranks very poorly.

It wasn't always this way. Over the years, other states like Tennessee and Florida have surpassed Michigan. Fighting between factions has locked progress in Michigan's schools in place.

The status quo - for instance, Michigan is one of only five states in which reading skills declined between 2003 and 2015 - isn't going to cut it when it comes to attracting businesses and outside talent.

But there are possibilities. Our guest on this episode is Ron French, Senior Reporter at Bridge Magazine. He recently penned a piece where he went through 12 different reports and shared a bunch of things he learned from them that he shared on their website here. There are common threads.

As so often, Michigan's problems aren't unique. We just need to take action on it. 

He joins Sven Gustafson to talk about the state of education. It's a very informative conversation that should sober you, but leave you with a sense that something can be done.. if we're willing to find common ground. 

Mar 17, 2018

On this week's Daily Detroit Happy Hour, we talk mass transit. A new plan has been put forth by Wayne County Executive Warren Evans (more here)... but does it even have a chance? Does any plan have a chance?

The Daily Detroit team walked through some of the speech Evans gave to a Regional Transit Authority Board meeting, what the plan is and what it could mean.. and openly wondered if there is any plan that would actually be acceptable to suburban leaders as the target keeps moving.

One of the conversation threads was the "alternative fact" that transit wasn't a reason Detroit made the cut for Amazon, even though we have plenty of evidence that it was, especially in light of a previous show where we went to Indianapolis and were told clearly that without a viable mass transit plan Indianapolis wouldn't have made the list. 

We also talked about the lack of vision when it comes to leaders in Macomb and Oakland County as they basically have their positions for life and don't have to fight off challengers, and the reality that although it may have been politically necessary and it looked good on County Executive Evans for putting the plan forward, it's probably not going anywhere. 

As always, be sure to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or wherever fine shows are found:


Mar 9, 2018

Hour Detroit magazine named Parc its 2018 restaurant of the year in its March edition — yes, Daily Detroit readers, there’s still a place for print media — and so this week’s episode takes you down to Campus Martius for a conversation about the restaurant, the award, food and the city’s fast-changing dining scene.

We chat with Parc’s executive chef, Jordan Hoffman, and Hour Detroit Editor Steve Wilke in a wide-ranging conversation that touches on everything from the restaurant’s gorgeous urban setting to the lamb rigatoni topped with feta cheese, an homage to the influence of Greektown.

Hoffman is a native of Adrian who has cooked in kitchens in Paris, Miami and Las Vegas before returning to Detroit to open Parc. He describes his cooking as Midwestern, blended with his French and Italian training.

“It’s meat-centric,” he says. “It’s braises, it’s great vegetables in summers, it’s challenging yourself with root vegetables in the winter…

“I grew up with long braises on Sundays, roasting the chicken, grilling, the wood fire grill is a big part of what we do here and the fact that we’re doing it over really fantastic local hardwood, it’s fun and it’s intriguing. I get to use great product that is from Michigan, that all I have to do is just really give it an opportunity to shine, throw It on a wood fire grill, hit it with the right aromatics and then do some small accompaniments to really challenge that dish and we’re ready to go.”

Wilke discusses Hour’s approach to covering food in Detroit, the shifting dining-scene dynamics between the city and suburbs, and some of his favorite Parc dishes.

Don't forget that we make it easy for you to find us and subscribe in all the prime podcatching places:

Our thanks as always to our friends at Podcast Detroit for the support.

Mar 2, 2018

So this is a veritable charcuterie of topics and guests from the floor of the 2018 Detroit Policy Conference.

Sven Gustafson and the Daily Detroit team spent the day at the Motor City Casino getting interviews and talking to interesting people, and here are three of the interviews.

  • Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor and J'Adore Detroit, who talked about the big ad controversy where billboards have been banned downtown - and what might be happening to change that
  • Christopher Collins of the Detroit JazzFest joined us along with Anne Parson, President and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to talk about the role of art in Detroit's revitalization.
  • Justin Robinson, Vice President, Business Attraction, Detroit Regional Chamber and John Paul Rea, Director of Planning and Economic Development for Macomb County, on what the region is doing to keep talent here and much more.

Thanks to Podcast Detroit and Dave Phillips for providing remote engineering for this episode.

Feb 23, 2018

This year’s Detroit Policy Conference takes place March 1 at MotorCity Casino Hotel, and the agenda is all about civility and putting aside our differences to help move Detroit forward.

On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we talk with two people closely involved in putting the conference together.

  • Marlowe Stoudamire is the owner of Butterfly Effect Detroit, a business consultancy, the founder of the MASH Detroit neighborhood business incubator and the project director for Detroit 67, the Detroit Historical Society’s innovative effort to commemorate the 1967 uprising and use it as a springboard to chart the city’s next 50 years.
  • Devon O’Reilly, manager of entrepreneurship and Detroit engagement for the Chamber and an occasional Daily Detroit contributor.

The one-day conference will feature more than 60 speakers, including keynote addresses from Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, and Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York nonprofit tackling poverty.

On the show, we discuss why the conference’s theme is so important to Detroit in 2018, what we learned from the Detroit 67 project and how MASH Detroit has handed off the baton on its eastside location and is currently scouting for its next neighborhood location. Plus, Stoudamire tells us what “social capital” means and why it’s so important.

Registration for the conference is still open. Daily Detroit and the Happy Hour team will be there providing coverage. Stop by and say hello at our podcast table!

And don’t forget to find us, download us, write a review and subscribe on:

Thanks as always to our pals at Podcast Detroit for the support.

Feb 16, 2018

If you listened to our recent episode on Amazon’s snub of Detroit (and you totally should), you’ll recall that the inclusion of Indianapolis among the 20 finalists for its HQ2 project was the topic of some surprise. Well, one of the reasons they made it was their efforts to develop 50 miles of Bus Rapid Transit and other improvements.

So we sent our correspondent Shianne Nocerini down to Indiana’s capital city to talk with Brian Luellen, vice president of public relations for IndyGo, the city’s transit agency, to find out what that city is doing right and compare and contrast our own (mostly failed) efforts here in Detroit.

“There’s been conversation about the need for enhanced transit for central Indiana for decades,” he said. “There was finally some private sector support, which helped catapult the conversation forward.”

That might sound familiar to those of you who followed the story of our own mighty QLine.

Have a listen above. Here’s a rundown of the conversation:

7:25 — Luellen discusses how Indianapolis got its transit talks going about 10 years ago, including the Central Indiana Task Force

8:50 — We break down the support from the private sector

9:30 — Luellen discusses the Indy Connect initiative and private sector funding, plus the legislative history, and the 2016 ballot initiative that helped (mostly) fund IndyGo

11:30 — We break down some of the funding specifics, and compare it to local opposition to our own stalled Regional Transit Authority plan

12:47 — Luellen discusses Marion County service improvements, its hub-and-spoke system and how funding agreements in neighboring counties will change things

15:00 — On the public’s response and feedback to IndyGo’s scaled-back plan and how Indianapolis is the fastest-growing city for number of households without vehicles

18:00 — Jer points out that a quarter of Detroit households also don’t own cars and how our policies “institutionalize poverty”

19:40 — How transit “was a big selling point for Amazon in the site selling process”

20:25 — Will Indy’s transit plan actually help its citiizens and deliver on promises to deliver an economic boost? Luellen says Indianapolis is struggling with the “suburbanization of poverty” and the movement of jobs to the exurbs, though its downtown — like Detroit’s — is a vibrant employment cluster.

22:45 — We talk about not letting perfect be the enemy of the good, and the hub-and-spoke system that Indy is using

24:20 — Luellen discusses the long-range vision and $400 million price tag to build out the BRT system, plus the $54 million in annual income tax revenues to help cover operating costs

26:55 — Luellen on the projected economic impact of IndyGo’s transit plans, including plans for a before-and-after survey on the economic impact of the Red Line

29:15 — We bring it back home to talk about transit updates here in Detroit. Jer points out how our QLine — “the streetcar that leaves much to be desired” — pales in comparison to IndyGo’s BRT plans. Shianne discusses how BRT has helped economic development in Cleveland.

Here's where to find us in Apple Podcasts, and please consider leaving us a review. It'd be so helpful! We're also on Spotify, Stitcher Radio, and thanks to Podcast Detroit

Feb 9, 2018

Our guest on the Happy Hour this week could be consider Detroit cultural royalty, if there is such a thing.

Around the Daily Detroit office, we often joke that the shirts that say "Detroit Hustles Harder," to be more accurate, should have said "Detroit Hustles/ Side Hustles / Other Hustles / Weekend Hustles Harder." Because it seems like the people who are doing things in the D are always wearing many hats.

We were honored to have Melody Baetens, a woman of many talents and who is one of those people who wears many hats.

  • By day she's a reporter for the Detroit News covering all things features, including music and food and the new restaurants in town.
  • She also is a co-owner of Small's in Hamtramck, on of Metro Detroit's best venues to see a show.
  • If that wasn't enough, she's also a musician who has traveled the world putting on shows as far away as Argentina and Serbia. Musical credits include the Gore Gore Girls, Coronados, and much more.

Sven Gustafson hits on a variety of topics in this wide-ranging interview. What it's like to play shows in Serbia. What are some of the restaurants to look for. Is there a restaurant bubble? And how there's so much going on in Detroit but fewer people to cover it.

You can find Melody here on Twitter:

And don't forget that Small's is serving Paczki bombs (we get into those on the pod) this upcoming Tuesday:

And here's here Detroit News author page:

As always, if you like the show, don't forget to subscribe for free in your favorite podcatcher of choice. Here's a link to iTunes:

And thanks to Podcast Detroit:


Feb 1, 2018

What is the state of Metro Detroit's transit system? Where do we go from here? Will there be a ballot proposal in 2018? What about universal fare cards? What improvements have been made?

That was all covered at Transit Riders United Annual Meeting which had a program about the State of Transit. 

There are a lot of questions around something that's pretty critical topic to address for the future of the City of Detroit and the region. We don't have all the answers, but Sven's guests do share with us what is happening now.

  • Paul Hillegonds, Chair and Governor Representative of the Regional Transit Authority
  • Rob Cramer, Deputy General Manager, SMART

and then

  • Dave Gifford, Transit Advocate and winner of the 2017 Transit Riders United Activist of the Year Award

Thanks for listening to the show. Don't miss another episode. We're on Apple iTunes/Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere fine podcasts are found. Go here:

And as always, thanks to our members who make this possible and Podcast Detroit for their support.


Jan 20, 2018

Detroit’s failure to make the list of 20 finalists for Amazon’s $5 billion HQ2 project and its 50,000 jobs has been the talk of the town. Especially after the all-hands-on-deck effort to produce a joint Detroit-Windsor bid that had many people believing the Motor City, once considered strictly a longshot, had a serious chance.

We talk to five local experts from a variety of backgrounds for their perspectives on what the failure says about our region and where we go from here.

  • Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction with the Detroit Regional Chamber, who was part of the team that helped put together the HQ2 proposal
  • John Mogk, a law professor at Wayne State University and expert on urban policy and economic development
  • Kurt Metzger, a longtime population demographer who is currently mayor of Pleasant Ridge
  • Tom Lawrence, founder and CEO of Lawrence Technology Systems and host of a popular tech vlog and YouTube channel
  • And Nuri Gocay, a co-host of the IT in the D podcast and technology veteran who has worked for companies including Google and Expedia in cities around the world.

Our experts differ on their reactions — Robinson and Mogk were surprised we were left off the list, while Gocay and Lawrence, less so. But they all raised interesting points about Detroit’s image and quality of life, our technology scene, and shortcomings around transit and education.

Jan 11, 2018

Board games are making a big comeback, and they're making a comeback here in Metro Detroit. Especially during the winter season, games with friends at a bar might just be the ticket to have fun without the sun.

Madison Reitzel and Kyle Sweeney are at the front of this changing trend - and board games are much different today than they used to be, moving faster and having more creative ways of playing. 

So this week, Sven Gustafson dives into a neat corner of Detroit's culture.

The Loaded Die has game nights across Metro Detroit and they've been helping foster the board game culture that has also taken hold in other cities across the world.

They also have a retail store in the Rust Belt in Ferndale.


Thanks to Podcast Detroit:

Disclosure: The Loaded Die has been a supporter of Daily Detroit in the past.

Jan 3, 2018

This is a deep dive roundtable discussion into what's going on with medical marijuana in the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit.

Host Sven Gustafson welcomed for the first episode of our second season of the show:

Roberta King, Canna Communication:

Denise Pollicella, Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan and was actively involved in crafting legislation to create a legal medical cannabis industry, now known as PA281, the Medical Marihuana Licensing Facilities Act:

Thomas Lavigne, Attorney at Law who specializes in Cannabis:

Show Notes:

1:00: Outlining the current medical marijuana situation in Michigan and Detroit, as well as the potential of fully legalizing Cannabis.

3:15: A thumbnail understand of the new medical marijuana rules.

5:20: The capitalization requirements are much steeper for medical marijuana facilities than liquor stores and pharmacies.

8:00: What you will need to be licensed in Michigan and how that interacts with your local municipality.

11:42: Are these new rules fair? Will they help the industry?

13:40: How the strict due diligence and high capital requirements put a defacto cap on dispensaries.

18:30: Is a community by community patchwork going to continue? What are the kinds of places that are more receptive to medical marijuana in Michigan?

21:10: If advocates want things to change they’ll have to run for office, sweep away “dinosaurs” on local boards.

22:10: Talking about fears around medical marijuana.

22:55: Hospital systems, their opposition to medical marijuana, and why guests believe they believe that opposition is because they systems it as competition to their pharmacies.

25:30: What’s going on in Detroit? Why is the city of Detroit shutting down dispensaries when voters overwhelmingly support it?

27:30: How the city of Detroit’s administration has been very difficult to work with around medical marijuana and dispensaries.

28:42: Can you zone a city by ballot initiative? It’s unclear.

29:30: Medical marijuana licensing could be frozen in the city of Detroit for a year.

32:00: 70 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit want medical marijuana, why is the city fighting it so hard?

34:20: Neighborhoods feel ignored and lied to by the city over the years, so that breeds skepticism, and it’s true that there’s been a lot of dumping on the city.

36:00: Happy Hour Facebook Group questions - What is the industry doing around marketing and communications? It’s hard to take them seriously with "punny" names along 8 Mile.

39:00: Facebook Group question: Is anyone considering a legal challenge to the capitalization requirements? 40:00: The financial investigation for everyone tied to licensing is very intense, and includes spouses

40:40: Many of the administrative rules may not be supported in the medical marijuana statute, but no one has legally challenged this yet

41:40: The status of the MI Legalize ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan, and what it contains

45:30: Could Michigan be bigger than Colorado for marijuana tourism? Turns out Michigan has more visitors than Colorado and spend on tourism.

Thanks to Podcast Detroit, our network. Be sure to check them out here: