Michigan expands parameters of marijuana social equity program

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Michigan is again revamping its marijuana social equity program in an attempt to draw more entrepreneurs impacted by the war on drugs into the industry.

To date, the program has awarded only two recreational marijuana business licenses – for an event organizer and a retailer – though 172 applicants have been deemed eligible for permits, MLive.com reported.

So, beginning June 1, the program will offer a 40% discount on the $6,000 application fee and permit fees that range from $25,000 for retailers to $40,000 for growers and processors.

In addition, any applicant with a marijuana-related felony will qualify for the program as long as the crime wasn’t for selling to a minor, according to MLive.com.

Applicants with marijuana-related misdemeanors or anyone who has lived in a “designated social equity community” for five of the past 10 years will also qualify for a 25% discount on license fees.

A 10% discount will be granted to anyone who’s been a registered medical marijuana caregiver for at least two years between 2008 and 2017.

One of the hurdles Michigan’s social equity program has encountered is that many applicants who could benefit from it live in one of the roughly 1,400 cities that have thus far opted to ban recreational marijuana businesses.

But the program has also been updated to expand the number of qualifying communities, to 184 from 41, MLive.com reported.