Detroit — “Legacy Detroiters” have until Friday to submit applications for certification to operate a medical marijuana shop but the office reviewing the applications is already overwhelmed, officials said.

Nearly 600 residents have submitted their applications, “far more than what was expected,” Erica Hill, deputy director of the city’s Civil Rights, Inclusion & Opportunity department, told The Detroit News Wednesday.

The city is giving preference to certain longtime Detroit residents. Applicants can qualify if they’ve lived in Detroit for 15 of the last 30 years; 13 of the last 30 years and are low-income; or 10 of the last 30 years and have a past marijuana-related criminal conviction or have parents who have a prior controlled substance record and still live in the city.

The office set up a call center this month to answer questions from applicants by bringing back three furloughed city employees to serve as attendants and a supervisor.

“Definitely, we did not expect the volume of inquiries and activity. It’s not so many outsiders. The bulk are Detroiters asking the status of their applications,” Hill said. “So that’s when we decided to utilize the furloughed employees and bring them back to assist with those calls.”

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