The Grand Rapids City Commission will vote Tuesday night to step up licensing of recreational cannabis dispensaries in the city. What changed their mind? Money.

I have long been critical of Grand Rapids officials for dragging their feet establishing recreational marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Now that another rec dispensary has popped up just outside the city in the Newaygo County community of Grant, city officials are beginning to see the light when it comes to legal weed.

Initially, the city tabled licensing applications for recreational weed sales from April 20 to October 20, but now MiBiz is reporting that the city may have had a change of heart.

After advancing a resolution on June 16 allowing current medical dispensaries to apply for recreational licenses, the City Commission may vote to approve those plans and fast track recreational sales in the city this Tuesday, July 7.

In what may be the the weed understatement of the year, First Ward Commissioner Jon O'Connor said in the June 16 meeting, “There is certainly a demand. I know there are (recreational retail) operators outside of Grand Rapids that have the ability to deliver here. Those are tax dollars that are not being spent in our community.”

In his defense, O'Connor has long been a proponent of getting rec weed sales up nad running ASAP in Grand Rapids. But what tipped him off? The long lines outside legal recreational dispensaries in Lowell, Cedar Springs, and even as far away as White Cloud?

You could have been lining the city coffers with reefer taxes since January.

As always, money eventually wins the day, especially when cities statewide are feeling the effects of the pandemic on its budgets.

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