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City Commission approves cannabis social equity, fast-tracking measures

Posted at 9:50 AM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 09:50:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids City Commission passed measures Tuesday to improve social equity outcomes in the cannabis industry and to fast-track approval of new medical and recreational cannabis businesses.

Under the new social equity policy, priority zoning and licensing consideration will be given to “equity” and “advancing equity” applicants, according to a new release from the commission.

These applicants will also be eligible for discounted cannabis licensing fees, the release said.

Cannabis retailers, growers, processors, secure transporters and safety compliance facilities will be able to begin applying for local licenses July 20.

The commission says the goal is to make the industry accessible to communities that have been negatively impacted by past cannabis policies.

“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,” City Manager Mark Washington said.

An upcoming City Commission meeting on July 21 will include other cannabis-related items, including whether to allow designated consumption establishments and whether to permit marijuana events.