GR City Commission actions leave marijuana businesses confused

Marijuana in MI

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The on again, off again plan to delay marijuana businesses in Grand Rapids leaves more questions than answers.

This has many in the marijuana industry asking what comes next, and Tuesday’s actions by the city commission did nothing to make things clearer.

Tuesday morning, the city commission was poised to enact a six-month delay on new marijuana businesses in the city.

The delay was proposed by 3rd Ward City Commissioner Senita Lenear and would have stalled the 14 medical marijuana facility applications awaiting planning commission approval.

It would not have changed the status of the 24 medical marijuana facilities already approved.

Lenear said the city has failed to live up to its commitment to equity and local ownership.

But by the Tuesday night meeting, three commissioners switched their votes, mostly due to the possibility of lawsuits by businesses who were in the pipeline that would have suffered under the ban.

However, with the April 20 deadline for the city to begin taking recreation marijuana applications looming, the city commission has yet to have a framework for the rules and regulations necessary for the application process to proceed.

They heard from citizens about how the confusion is impacting businesses.

“We’re hitting a lot of barriers and this moratorium is just one of them,” said Leslie Wyman, a Ph.D candidate at Van Andel Institute. “How do we plan accordingly with our financial dollars, with our business plans, with our pending application when we are not aware of how you feel and how you’re navigating this?”

The commission was unable to even agree on a motion to put a date on the schedule for a public hearing.

The city commission’s next meeting is March 17. It will be one of only three chances for the commission to make a decision before the deadline.

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