"The ethical consumer’s guide to recreational cannabis in Grand Rapids" | For Grand Rapids Magazine
From Article: On being an ethical consumer, Tami VandenBerg, local business owner and co-chair/founder of the West Michigan Cannabis Guild advises: “Look for local ownership, people with experience growing and see how they treat their employees. Are the workers happy to be there? Are they getting paid living wages? In terms of sustainability, packaging is easy to observe. One disappointing thing I’ve seen is when you purchase a joint and it’s in this giant plastic container. Also, look at if they give back to the community.”
Recent data from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency showed that fewer than 4% of licenses held across the entire state were held by people who identify as Black. That percentage is even fewer for those that identify as Latinx. Currently, there are no Black or brown-owned dispensaries in Grand Rapids.
“It’s disappointing that Grand Rapids talks about equity so much but hasn’t procured any operators that represent the demographic that was disproportionately criminalized by prohibition, which is people of color,” Mojet said. “My hope is, now that the state can approve people for recreational marijuana licenses without prerequisite medical licenses, that we’ll see different results.”