There was a time not too long ago that possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana was illegal. While many states have begun taking the steps to legalize marijuana, the effects of marijuana-related convictions continue to haunt communities disproportionately. As the legal marijuana industry continues to expand, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s (MRA) Social Equity Program recognizes their moral obligation to help those who have been impacted.
Why was the Program Created?
FBI data shows that in 2018, 40% of all drug convictions in the United States were for marijuana-related offenses. Of those marijuana-related offenses, about 92% were for possession. In just a few short years, legalization and public opinion of medical and recreational marijuana use has changed drastically. The Social Equity Program was created by the MRA to encourage and support participation in the Michigan marijuana industry by people from communities who have been impacted by past marijuana prohibition and enforcement.
Who Qualifies for Michigan’s Social Equity Program?
The Social Equity Program has outlined certain criteria for participants to be eligible for program benefits. Participants who qualify for the program are eligible for adult-use license fee reduction as well as access to outreach and educational sessions.
Criteria for Individuals:
Residential – Residency in a disproportionately impacted community for at least 5 cumulative years within the past 10 years. See the map and full list of communities here. (25% fee reduction)
Previous Marijuana Conviction – Misdemeanor (25% fee reduction) or Felony (40% fee reduction)
Criteria for Establishments:
Participants who plan to operate a marijuana establishment within a disproportionately impacted community will receive a fee reduction on all adult-use licensing fees.
Participants who plan to operate a marijuana establishment outside of a disproportionately impacted community will receive an extended fee reduction for only 2 years following adult-use licensure.
How do I Sign up for Michigan’s Social Equity Program?
Individuals who wish to participate in Michigan MRA’s Social Equity Program can fill out an online application here. The application requires individuals to provide documentation that supports eligibility in the program. This includes proof of residency and/or conviction documentation.
Existo is Here to Help!
Existo supports the mission of MRA’s Social Equity Program and encourages participation in the Michigan marijuana industry by serving as a resource for all things technology, security, cultivation, and compliance. As a trusted partner in the cannabis industry, we provide cannabis compliance solutions for all facility types. Are you thinking about starting your cannabis business as a Social Equity Program participant? Contact Us today for a FREE consultation!