LOCAL

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UPDATE: CANNABIS INDUSTRY TAX FUNDS DISTRIBUTION

During the week of March 28, 2022, the State of Michigan will distribute $56,453.33 per adult use retailer or microbusiness license to communities that have at least one of these licenses active within their borders. 

Within the WMCG's 17-county focus area, this equates to a total of $14,339,173.76 to local municipalities and counties (Source;PDF). 

The previous distribution, in March 2021, was $28,001.32 per retailer or microbusiness (Source;PDF). The total distribution statewide is $42.2 million. $49.3 million also will go to the School Aid fund for K-12 education, and $49.3 million to the Michigan Transportation fund.

Thank you to the licensed adult-use cannabis industry and customers for providing these tax dollars!

OUR FOCUS FOR LOCAL ACTION

The West Michigan Cannabis Guild directs local action towards:

Opt-In Ordinances for:

Grand Haven (adult use)
Grand Haven opted in to allow the medical cannabis industry (effective March 2020), but has not yet acted to allow the cannabis industry grow, process, transport, test, or sell products for adult use. 55.5% of Grand Haven citizens voted in favor of Proposal 18-1 (which allowed adult use cannabis in Michigan) in November 2018. Medical-only cannabis facilities generally find it difficult to stay in business if they cannot also access the adult use market. Three medical-only retail stores have been approved.

Cannabis Guild members have attended several meetings of the Grand Haven Planning Commission and City Council. Our efforts, combined with those of the Smart & Safe Grand Haven legalization campaign, helped the Planning Commission recommend approval of ordinance amendments to allow adult use cannabis on March 8th, 2022. The ordinance amendments will next go to the Grand Haven City Council for a final decision.

Do you live in Grand Haven and want to allow the licensed adult use cannabis industry to operate too? Join the Guild to help bring this about!

Greenville
57.6% of Greenville voters supported Proposal 18-1 in November 2018. In response to grassroots efforts by residents, in February 2022 the Greenville City Council approved an ordinance allowing medical cannabis provisioning centers, but not adult use retailers. The ordinance allows for growing, processing, secure transport and safety compliance labs for both medical and adult use cannabis products, but hinders retail uses in the Village and leaves a potentially significant amount of tax revenues on the table. Do you live in Greenville and want to add your voice to the conversation? Join the Guild!

Kentwood
54.6% of Kentwood residents voted in favor of Proposal 18-1 in November 2018. In December 2018, the City Commission voted to prohibit the legal cannabis industry within their City, with just one vote (Bridson) against prohibition. I
n October 2021, we endorsed two candidates for Kentwood City offices, Emily Bridson and Dan VanderMolen, who pledged to bring about positive change for cannabis patients, industry, and adult recreational users. Do you live in Kentwood and want to legalize the cannabis industry? Join the Guild and let's make it happen!

Sparta (Village)
56.2% of voters in the Village of Sparta (Sparta Twp. Precinct 1) voted in favor of Proposal 18-1 in November 2018. The Village Council adopted a "wait and see" approach by opting out from both medical and adult use cannabis, but we are aware of grassroots efforts to opt in and allow a limited number of cannabis retail stores within the Village. Do you live in the Village of Sparta and are supportive of legalizing the licensed cannabis industry there? Join the Guild and help bring about this voter-supported change!

Wyoming
55.9% of Wyoming residents voted in favor of Proposal 18-1 in November 2018. In December 2018 the City Council voted to prohibit the licensed cannabis industry from the City. In 2020, we endorsed candidate John Fitzgerald, who was elected to the Commission. Do you live in Wyoming and want to legalize the cannabis industry? Join the Guild and make sure your voice is heard!

Others?
If your municipality is considering opting in, please let us know. We have good relationships with many stakeholders in both business and government, and may be able to help facilitate the process.

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Grand Rapids Zoning Ordinance 

The most recent changes to the Grand Rapids Zoning Ordinance (effective October 2020) made it even more restrictive, adding new separation distance requirements from previously undefined land uses, effectively shutting down opportunities for any new retail licenses in the City. 

    Combined with the "Clean Air in Public Places" ordinance (see below) and anti-cannabis landlords, there are very few places for cannabis consumers to legally use cannabis within the City. There are many bars, restaurants, and events for people to drink alcohol (including social zones, which we support), and cigar lounges for people to smoke tobacco products (which they can also do on golf courses). There are no equivalent allowances for cannabis.

    We seek to lessen these restrictions, and to allow the following land uses and license types, all of which are licensed by the State:

    • Class A Microbusiness (proposed)
    • Marijuana Education Research (proposed)
    • Temporary Marijuana Events
    • Designated Consumption Establishments (consumption lounges)

    If you live in Grand Rapids and want the cannabis industry to be fully legalized, join the Guild and add your voice!

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    Social Equity Policies

    To their credit, Grand Rapids has worked hard to create their Cannabis Social Equity Policy (check it out here). We support the efforts of those working in government to recognize and try to correct so many of the inequities that have resulted from disparate enforcement of anti-cannabis policies over many decades, especially when that unequal enforcement has been disproportionately visited upon communities of color.

    For more information, we suggest checking out this paper: A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform. It shows how decades of unequal cannabis enforcement are still playing out today. It's eye-opening, and very frustrating. Did you know that, nationwide, you're 3.5x more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession if you're black than if you're white? In Michigan it's 3.6x.

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    Grand Rapids Clean Air in Public Places Ordinance

    This ordinance (effective January 1, 2021) prohibits any consumption of cannabis (in any form) in most public places, as well as hotels and motels, and public & private workplaces. It reflect the State's ban on public consumption, but goes too far, especially for non-smoked forms of cannabis (in a Clean Air ordinance). It's another chance for people to get arrested for using their needed medicine, in a city and State where it is legal. 

    There's an exemption for Designated Consumption Establishments (aka consumption lounges), although those are not currently allowed by City code. The ordinance also exempts golf courses to allow the smoking of tobacco products. The Cannabis Guild seeks to, at minimum, remove the prohibition of non-smoked cannabis from this Clean Air ordinance. Add your voice by becoming a member!

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