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Grand Rapids, Michigan Could Experience Serious Growth with Recreational Cannabis Retail Market

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As local officials in the city of Grand Rapids begin preparing to consider recreational cannabis business applications, the city expects some serious growth. Dozens of applications will be considered over the next few months.

One recreational dispensary has been in operation since Oct. 23, but three more have been granted special land use approval to begin pressing forward. Two additional dispensaries, both of which already operate as medical cannabis provisioning centers, have requested approval from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission.

Mi Biz reported that Grand Rapids officials say they may approve up to 28 retail cannabis sites by March. Even though industry experts claim that it’s not likely that so many cannabusinesses will be up and running due to market saturation and excessive upfront costs associated with opening stores, some cannabis activists see this as significant progress, despite their criticism of the city for its slow movements.

Some industry insiders observing the potential market activity believe Grand Rapids could become a leading cannabis producer and distributor in Michigan.

“Adult-use sales in Grand Rapids as a whole has been a long time coming,” said John McLeod, president of Oak Flint LLC. “I’m very excited for Grand Rapids to experience an actual regulated adult-use market.” McLeod’s company wants to open a growing, processing and retail facility in Grand Rapids, so there could be a lot for him to anticipate in the upcoming months.

Supervisor of Michigan Supply and Provisions, Joshua Smith, is also looking forward to progress in Grand Rapids. Michigan Supply and Provisions, a medical cannabis dispensary, went before the Planning Commission to obtain a special land use permit earlier this month.

Smith explained that the Grand Rapids Market is rather appealing, attracting nation-wide parent company Ascend Wellness Holdings LLC executives’ attention. Corporate officials are interested in what’s happening in Grand Rapids, Smith said. “They think Grand Rapids is going to be one of the biggest markets in Michigan, and they think Michigan itself will be a big market for cannabis sales.”

Up North Live reported that Michigan generates nearly $60 million per month in recreational cannabis. With this progress observable just two years after Michigan voters passed adult-use cannabis, it’s safe to say we can expect big things from cannabis in “The Great Lakes State.”  

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