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Cannabis Related Policy Changes Aim To Elevate Equity

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New measures recently approved by the Grand Rapids City Commission could give more Grand Rapidians an opportunity to open and/or become employed by cannabis businesses in the city.  This move could improve social equity outcomes.

The new measures are part of the City of Grand Rapids Cannabis Justice Work Group’s social equity policy.  The measures also fast track approval of medical and recreational cannabis businesses.

Here’s Grand Rapids Planning Director, Kristin Turkelson

“The Policy guides the regulatory focus of the city relative to licensing and zoning and encouraging a new industry to provide economic opportunities to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition and enforcement as well as the war on drugs.”

Turkelson says basically the equity policy allows those who’ve been hindered in the past, to move to the front of the line in the application process.

“So, what it will do for those who are either meeting criteria for equity applicants or those who commit and are considered applications advancing equity.  What that would do is give prioritization for those applications to be processed first, so it allows for those applications to move forward in adding a recreational retail license or for us to review and process applications that are specific to either growers or processors.”

Turkelson says the new policy will move forward with the processing of land use applications, which has two tracks.  The first she says starts with the non-retail side including growers and processors. That opens July 20th. She says the second track for the retail applicants opens in late August.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.