In its focus area, the West Michigan Cannabis Guild has directed 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. 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!
57.6% of Greenville voters supported Proposal 18-1 in November 2018. In response to grassroots efforts by residents, the Greenville City Council will hold a public hearing on February 1, 2022 to discuss whether to opt in to allow the licensed cannabis industry within the City. In December 2021 the Greenville Planning Commission approved draft ordinances that would allow medical cannabis provisioning centers, but not adult use retailers. The ordinances would allow for growing, processing, secure transport and safety compliance labs for both medical and adult use cannabis products. Do you live in Greenville and want to add your voice to the conversation? The best ways to do this are (1) attend the February 1 public hearing and (2) join the Guild!
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. In 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!
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!
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!
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.
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 or will be licensed by the State:
If you live in Grand Rapids and want the cannabis industry to be fully legalized, join the Guild and add your voice!
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.
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!