Michigan social equity program

Just today, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced the details of its Michigan Social Equity Program. The program is designed to encourage participation in the marijuana industry by those in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. 

Over the last several months, the agency sought input from approximately 150 stakeholders in work groups, including Cannabis Legal Group’s founding attorney Barton Morris and associate attorney Jennifer Domingue. An online survey was also distributed to help determine critical criteria the MRA should use to identify disproportionately impacted communities, which resulted in identifying the following 19 communities: 

    • Albion
    • Benton Harbor
    • Detroit
    • East Lansing
    • Ecorse
    • Flint
    • Highland Park
    • Hamtramck
    • Inkster
    • Kalamazoo
    • Mt. Morris
    • Mt. Pleasant
    • Muskegon
    • Muskegon Heights
    • Niles
    • Pontiac
    • River Rouge
    • Saginaw
    • Ypsilanti

While the finalized social equity plan has yet to be released, here are a few key details included in the plan:

1. Application Assistance and Coordinating Resources

The MRA’s team of social equity representatives will visit the 19 communities listed above multiple times before the agency begins taking applications on November 1, 2019. The MRA’s social equity representatives will:

  • Answer questions regarding the adult-use application and licensing process
  • Provide one-on-one assistance with completing the licensure application
  • Compile educational resources relevant to the marijuana industry and help coordinate applicants’ use of the resources
  • Identify resources at other state agencies and in the private sector (attorneys, accountants, etc.) that qualifying applicants can utilize to answer questions

2. Reduced Fees

Those who qualify for the Social Equity program benefit from significant reductions off the application fee, the initial license fee and future renewal fees. This will be calculated as follows: 

  • 25% reduction for those who have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionately impacted communities for the past five years
  • An additional 25% reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionately impacted communities for the past five years AND have a marijuana-related conviction.
  • An additional 10% reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionately impacted communities for the past five years AND were registered as primary caregivers for at least two years between 2008 and 2017.

3. Social Equity Program Resources

The MRA will make multiple resources available to disproportionately impacted communities and individuals who qualify for the Social Equity Program. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

Additionally, the MRA has partnered with medical facility licenses and individuals from the private sector to provide educational presentations to – and act as resources – to Social Equity Program participants. To learn more about this and other Social Equity Program details, read the full press release.

Cannabis Legal Group is looking forward to being a leading advocate for social equity program applicants, and we are currently preparing resources and services for eligible participants. For information, please contact us today.

Sydney Fairman (27 Posts)

Sydney Fairman is the Social Media Marketing Specialist for the Law Offices of Barton Morris and Cannabis Legal Group. While at Central Michigan University, Sydney was an active member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and held various internships, leadership and part-time positions. These places of employment include the City of Mt. Pleasant, Grand Central Magazine, Mackinac State Historic Parks and WCMU Public Media (PBS). She graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelors Degree in Applied Arts in Integrative Public Relations and minor in Journalism. Sydney comes to us after her first position post-college with Gale, a Cengage Company as a Marketing Associate. She possesses a passion for writing, marketing and graphic design and showcases this on Cannabis Legal Group's website and social media channels.


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