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Kalamazoo commissioners to vote on amended social equity policy for marijuana businesses

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Kalamazoo commissioners are scheduled to vote this week on new rules to help promote social equity among marijuana businesses.

The ordinance would offer up to 40% off permitting fees for marijuana business owners who were previously convicted of a marijuana offense. It also offers discounts for owners who live in census tracts the city says were disproportionately affected by enforcing marijuana laws.

“We need to make sure individuals that have been affected by, quote-unquote, this product have the opportunity to be educated about how to successfully transition into this employment opportunity,” Antonio Mitchell, deputy director of the Community Planning and Economic Development Department, told commissioners during a briefing in July.

Mitchell said training will be funded through taxes on marijuana sales. Kalamazoo expects to get $564,534 in revenue from marijuana taxes this year.

The vote on the social equity policy is scheduled during the Kalamazoo City Commission’s regular business meeting this week, which begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. More details on the meeting are available at the city’s website here.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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