Michigan may have made roughly $42 million in medical marijuana tax revenue sales during the first 4 months. However, there still looms a big question for the state’s lawmakers- ‘How would they ensure that a significant sum of this money goes to the ‘victims’ of Drug War prohibition?
In response to the aforesaid often-contemplated question, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency recently released the details of its plans for cannabis social equity programs, which will support cannabis entrepreneurs in as many as 19 communities.
“We want to provide an opportunity to get into the business to individuals who might not otherwise have that opportunity,” Andrew Brisbo, MRA Director, told the local media. “We’re putting all our focus on the communities that have been disproportionately impacted.”
The state has pledged to bestow upon qualifying candidates a discount of up to 60% in the application and licensing fees. The 19 jurisdictions where the social equity program will take place are Ypsilanti, Saginaw, River Rouge, Pontiac, Niles, Muskegon Heights, Muskegon, Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Morris, Kalamazoo, Inkster, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Flint, Ecorse, East Lansing, Detroit, Benton Harbor, and Albion.
Individuals who meet one (or more) of the following 3 conditions can ask for more support:
- If they have lived in one of the 19 communities for 5 or more years
- If they have a past marijuana criminal conviction
- If they have served as a registered marijuana caregiver for at least two years between 2008-2017
Furthermore, enrolled applicants will have ‘easy’ access to industry educational resources, and governmental agencies that regulate “business registration, environmental laws, taxes, health and human services and occupational safety.”
Reportedly, Michigan’s plan is to give half of all cannabis business licenses in the 19 communities to people who participate in the social equity program.