KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Kalamazoo is considering the idea of a cannabis chamber to promote social equity in the city’s marijuana businesses.
The plan was presented by the Community Planning and Economic Development at Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. Marijuana businesses in the city would buy into the chamber in exchange for resources to help them fill the social equity requirements of their license, in addition to having input on what the cannabis industry looks like in Kalamazoo. The money raised from the chamber would fund social equity initiatives from the city.
City staff say right now all Kalamazoo marijuana businesses are required to have a social equity plan but there’s no way to enforce it. Commissioners question why businesses would buy in if it’s going to require stricter enforcement.
“The purpose of this is to see who wants to be a good cannabis citizen in the city of Kalamazoo,” said Antonio Mitchell, the deputy director for Community Planning and Economic Development. “What that means is that you’re working with us as the city, you’re also working with this chamber business entity and you’re working with the community to, quote unquote, reinvest in the people that have been mostly harmed by this industry in the past before it became legal to make sure they can be successful. If that’s not a priority for you, then we’re going to have a problem with you and we’re going to express it, and we’ll express it here and we’ll express it at the state.”
Tuesday’s meeting was just informational for the commission. The proposal will be brought to them at a meeting on Aug. 1.
— Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Antonio Mitchell’s name. We regret the error, which has been fixed.