Michigan Expands Social Equity Program
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Michigan Expands Social Equity Program

The state is increasing the number of disproportionately impacted communities from 41 to 184 and will no longer require licensees to reside in those communities to receive certain fee reductions for their first two years in operation.

May 19, 2020

On May 19, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced it is expanding its social equity program eligibility criteria, benefits and fee reductions.

Effective June 1, MRA will again increase the number of “disproportionately impacted communities” in Michigan, this time from 41 to 184. The previous criterion was that communities would qualify for this status if they have “marijuana-related convictions greater than the state median and [that] have 30% or more of the population living below the federal poverty level,” according to a release from MRA; starting next month, that percentage will change to 20% or more of the population living below the federal poverty level.

MRA is also eliminating the requirement to live in a disproportionately impacted community to be eligible for a “caregiver fee reduction” or “marijuana-related conviction fee reduction,” according to the release. If a licensee operates outside of one of these communities, however, their fee reduction will expire after their first two years in operation.

“In addition, a 40% fee reduction has been added for applicants who have been convicted of a marijuana-related felony,” the release states.

RELATED: Michigan Will Phase Out Caregiver-Sourced Cannabis

MRA outlined that the following fee reductions will go into effect June 1.

Applicants who qualify for a “maximum fee reduction” can receive 75% off license application and annual licensing fees, according to the release.

MRA’s social equity team is providing remote, one-on-one assistance to qualifying adult-use license applicants until it can safely resume in-person meetings with applicants, according to the release.

The agency also plans to host a job fair in 2019. “We are preparing to post job listings on our website and connect qualifying applicants with training resources that will help them develop the skills necessary for employment in the marijuana industry,” the release states.