Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency Expands Social Equity Program June 1

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency has expanded its social equity program, increased benefits, reduced fees and enhanced eligibility requirements for certain applicants.

Starting June 1, the number of disproportionately impacted communities will expand from 31 to 184, making it easier for individuals to qualify to participate in the state program.

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Expanded Communities

Section 8 of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act requires the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to develop a plan to promote and encourage participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. Those communities include marijuana-related convictions and poverty rate.

The current criteria for these communities is marijuana-related convictions greater than the state median, and 30 percent of the population living below the federal poverty level.

The revision on June 1 will reduce the percentage of population living below the federal poverty level to 20 percent. As a result, some 184 new communities will be added.

Also effective June 1, applicants no longer are required to live in a disproportionately impacted community to be eligible for a marijuana-related conviction fee reduction or a caregiver fee reduction.

What’s more a 40 percent fee reduction has been added for applicants who have been convicted of a marijuana-related felony.

Below are available fee reductions, effective June 1:

Residency – 25% fee reduction for residency in a disproportionately impacted community for at least 5 cumulative years of the last 10 years.

Marijuana Related Conviction – 25% fee reduction for having been convicted of a marijuana-related misdemeanor** or 40% fee reduction or having been convicted of a marijuana-related felony.
**Excluding distribution of a controlled substance to a minor.

Caregiver – 10% fee reduction for registration as a primary caregiver under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act for at least 2 years between 2008-2017.

Also effective June 1, applicants/licensees who qualify for the maximum fee reduction will now receive a 75% reduction in their application and annual licensing fees. An applicant can meet any of the above criteria and be eligible for the associated fee reduction, regardless of where they reside in Michigan.

Beginning June 1, applicants/licenses may now operate outside of a disproportionately impacted community; if they choose to do so, the fee reductions will expire after the first two years of operation.

Application Assistance, Resources, Employment, and Training

The MRA’s social equity representatives will continue to assist individuals with completing the social equity application, which will allow the MRA to determine if the individual qualifies for participation in the program.

At this time, the social equity team will be providing remote application assistance to qualifying applicants applying for adult-use licenses. This will be available on a one-on-one basis as plans are made for a safe return to in-person sessions

Later this year the MRA will host a job fair. 

List of Communities by County

Allegan: Fennville, Lee Township

Arenac: Alger, Sterling

Barry: Nashville

Bay: Bay City, Midland, Pinconning

Berrien: Benton Harbor, Berrien Spring, Coloma, Eau Claire, Niles, Oronoko Township, Sodus Township, Watervliet                                                                   

Branch: Bronson, Butler Township, Coldwater, Gilead Township, Quincy, Sherwood, Sherwood Township, Union City

Calhoun: Albion, Battle Creek, Springfield, Tekonsha, Tekonsha Township, Union City

Cass: Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, Lagrange Township, Marcellus, Vandalia

Eaton: Charlotte, Vermontville

Emmet: McKinley Township, Wawatam Township

Genesee: Clio, Flint, Flint Township, Mt. Morris, Mt. Morris Township

Gratiot: Alma, Bethany Township, Breckenridge, Fulton Township, Perrinton, Seville Township, Wheeler Township

Hillsdale: Montgomery

Ingham: East Lansing, Lansing

Ionia: Ionia, Muir, Orleans Township, Ronald Township

Isabella: Coldwater Township, Fremont Township, Mt. Pleasant, Shepherd

Jackson: Hanover, Jackson, Springport

Kalamazoo: Galesburg, Kalamazoo

Kent: Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids

Lapeer: Clifford, Columbiaville, Imlay City, Lapeer

Lenawee: Adrian, Morenci

Macomb: Center Line, Mt. Clemens

Mecosta: Aetna Township, Barryton, Big Rapids, Deerfield Township, Fork Township, Mecosta, Millbrook Township, Morley, Sheridan Township, Stanwood, Wheatland Township

Monroe: Luna Pier

Montcalm: Carson City, Crystal Township, Edmore, Greenville, Home Township, Howard City, Lakeview, McBride, Pierson, Stanton

Muskegon: Holton Township, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Twin Lake

Newaygo: Beaver Township, Big Prairie Township, Bridgeton Township, Denver Township, Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Lilley Township, Merrill Township, Newaygo, Troy Township, White Cloud, Wilcox Township

Oakland: Hazel Park, Pontiac, Royal Oak Township

Ogemaw: Horton Township, Prescott, Richland Township, Rose City, West Branch

Ottawa: Allendale Township

Roscommon: Higgins Township, Richfield Township, Roscommon, Roscommon Township, St. Helen

Saginaw: Bridgeport Township, Carrollton Township, Chapin Township, Chesaning, Kochville Township, Marion Township, Saginaw, Spaulding Township

Shiawassee: Owosso

St. Clair: Port Huron

St. Joseph: Sturgis, Sturgis Township, Three Rivers, White Pigeon Township

Tuscola: Akron, Caro, Dayton Township, Gagetown, Gilford Township, Kingston, Koylton Township, Mayville, Vassar, Vassar Township

Van Buren: Arlington Township, Bangor Township, Bloomingdale, Breedsville, Columbia Township, Covert Township, Decatur, Decatur Township, Hartford, Keeler Township, Lawrence, Mattawan, Paw Paw, South Haven

Washtenaw: Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti

Wayne: Dearborn, Detroit, Ecorse, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Inkster, Melvindale, River Rouge, Wayne

Wexford: Antioch Township, Cadillac, Colfax Township, Mesick, Slagle Township

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Mike Brennan
Mike Brennan is Editor of Michigan Marijuana Report (mimarijuanareport) a cannabis, hemp and CBD news portal website for Michigan and the Great Lakes States. He has been a professional reporter and editor since 1981.

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