WZZM TV-13 reports that the Grand Rapids City Commission is now accepting local licenses for both medical and recreational marijuana facilities within the city with a prioritization of social equity:
Earlier this month, the City of Grand Rapids adopted a plan to fast-track the approval process. There are new measures that will be implemented to give more businesses the chance to take advantage of the growing industry.
The plan also puts a priority on businesses that have plans to improve social equity in the city. The idea is to allow more people to open or be employed by a cannabis businesses in the city.
According to the Grand Rapids Business News, the Grand Rapids Cannabis Justice Work Group’s new social equity policy calls for:
- Voluntary incentives to assign priority for zoning and licensing consideration of applicants deemed “equity” or “advancing equity.”
- Establishment of a nonprofit by the city to extend social equity work. The nonprofit will incentivize equity-enhancing practices beyond the scope of what the city can do directly, including investing in the community and collaboration with cannabis stakeholders.
The policy amends the licensing ordinance and zoning ordinance to allow applicants with social equity plans to have a faster track in the license application process for cannabis facilities. Applicants also are eligible for discounted cannabis license fees.
“The primary equity goals of the new policy and ordinance changes are to provide economic opportunities in the new cannabis industry for communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition,” said Mark Washington, city manager. “Those communities also were disproportionately impacted over the past 40 years. This policy will help us find ways to invest in segments of the community affected by that same impact.”
Good news for West Michigan!