Marihuana Business Social Equity Program

The City of Kalamazoo is one Michigan's leading communities when it comes to promoting social equity through the cannabis industry. Every cannabis business in the City is required achieve at least silver level in the State’s Social Equity All-Star Program, and most of the program’s Gold Qualifying business are Kalamazoo businesses. This helps ensure that this industry is including and investing in the people who have historically been most impacted by cannabis prohibition. It also means that this industry is benefiting the entire community. Businesses that meet the gold criteria also only need to renew their business permit every two years. 

The City also its own Social Equity Policy that reduces the costs of ownership and lessens separation requirements for owners that have been most affected by cannabis-prohibition. Businesses that meet the following criteria qualify for this program:

  • A majority of the ownership has lived an area that has historically been most impacted by prohibition for the previous three years (Census tracts 1, 9, 10, 2.02, or 3, roughly the Northside, Eastside, and Edison neighborhoods).
  • A majority of the ownership has lived anywhere in the city for the previous three years and has a cannabis-related conviction (not involving distribution to a minor).

A discount is also available if at least 10% of the ownership was a registered caregiver for at least two years between 2008 and 2017.

To become a qualified social equity business, submit a Social Equity Business application and Social Personal Information Form with supporting documents for every person who has an ownership interest in the business (regardless of the percentage of ownership). This application can be submitted either prior to submission of the associated Marijuana Business Permit Application, or it can be submitted with the Permit Application. If this application is submitted prior to the Permit application, eligibility will be determined, and the appropriate fee reductions will be applied at the time the Permit application is filed. If this application is submitted with the Permit Application, the applicant will need to pay the full amount of the fee(s) within the required time frame. If the applicant is determined to be eligible for the social equity program the fee reduction(s) will be refunded.

Social Equity Business Policy(PDF, 2MB)
Social Equity Business Application(PDF, 39KB)
Social Equity Business Personal Information Form(PDF, 42KB)