At the July 7 City of Grand Rapids City Commission meeting, Commissioners voted to adopt a City Ordinance for Marijuana-Related Municipal Licensing. This ordinance expands marijuana businesses from Medical Marijuana into Adult-Use (recreational) licensing. Adult-Use Cannabis in Grand Rapids is likely to happen yet this summer.
This ordinance goes into effect immediately and the City Clerk will begin accepting applications Monday, July 20th, 12 days from now.
The Grand Rapids green goldrush is on!
This new ordinance, combined with the current zoning ordinance will not though, in this writer’s opinion, expand the number of possible locations for licensed facilities. It may, in fact, reduce those numbers. At a Grand Rapids Planning Commission meeting about 6 months ago, Planning Commissioners expressed the opinion that an adult-use market for marijuana would create heavier traffic flows and patron usage, thus requiring greater oversight and restrictions on development and use of properties (i.e.: greater parking and accessibility). We will see what develops on this front as the current medical marijuana licensed locations begin to convert their existing licenses to the Marijuana-Related Municipal License. Licensees must apply for this new City license to continue operations and/or to move into the recreational market.
With the new licensing ordinance, the City adopted what is now known as “City Policy” which is Grand Rapids’ Cannabis Social Equity Policy. The City is trying to offer incentives if licensed applicants make “voluntary commitments that advance social equity.” There is the potential for discounted cannabis license fees and prioritization in City review of applications.
A microbusiness license is authorized in Grand Rapids but again you need to evaluate the possible location of such an enterprise and meet the environmental sustainability and building requirements. No consumption enterprise license or temporary event licenses are being offered yet. These will be discussed by the City later this month.
We applaud the City for taking this next step in the commercialization of marijuana business which we believe can greatly assist the Grand Rapids in its economic recovery.
If Grand Rapidians are going to buy adult-use cannabis products, why not have it available locally, as it is in Lowell, Muskegon and soon in Cedar Springs? It doesn’t make sense to be transporting cannabis into Grand Rapids from Flint or Clio.
The voters spoke in 2018 and the City has finally responded. We all may not like various provisions but let’s give it a chance. We see what the State has done to adapt to the industry, and we feel the City will do the same, particularly if it’s all beneficial to Grand Rapids and its citizenry.
We’re working with clients in Grand Rapids on licensing and we can assist you, too.