Michigan Launches New Cannabis Programs to Support Veterans

November 15th, 2023 Legislation & Policy Updates
Cover Image

The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) of Michigan has recently announced the introduction of two new programs focused on supporting veterans in the state: Task Force 1620 and the Veteran Recognition Program. These initiatives are designed to aid Michigan's veteran community in accessing cannabis and to highlight veteran-owned cannabis businesses within the state.

Task Force 1620: Aiding Veterans' Access to Cannabis

Task Force 1620 is a program that acknowledges CRA licensees who have established programs to offer safe and affordable cannabis access for veterans. This initiative is designed to connect Michigan's veterans with cannabis retailers who are willing and able to assist. Retailers participating in Task Force 1620 have the autonomy to set the specifics of their veteran access program. This includes determining the maximum amount of cannabis donated or discounted per veteran, establishing eligibility criteria based on the percentage of disability, deciding on the frequency and quantity of donations, and setting the number of veterans included in the program.

Licensees who implement a veteran access program that offers cannabis to veterans at a discounted rate of 75-100% are eligible for Task Force 1620. Approved participants in this program will have their business information and details of their veteran access program published on the CRA's webpage. Additionally, they will receive a seal that they can display at their facility, signifying their involvement and commitment to veteran support.

This program is available to all businesses licensed under both the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA) and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA). Importantly, to participate in Task Force 1620, a business does not need to be majority-owned by a veteran. Businesses interested in joining Task Force 1620 are encouraged to apply through the CRA website and can direct their questions to [email protected].

Veteran Recognition Program: Highlighting Veteran-Owned Businesses

The Veteran Recognition Program (VRP) is another initiative by the CRA, focusing on recognizing those CRA-licensed businesses that are majority-owned by veterans of the US armed forces. Upon approval to be part of the VRP, businesses will receive a recognition letter and a seal from the CRA. The program uses the ownership structure provided during the licensing application or amendment process to determine the percentage of veteran ownership. Businesses that meet the criteria and are approved will have their name and license number listed on the CRA website.

The VRP is open to businesses licensed under both the MMFLA and the MRTMA. To apply, businesses should visit the CRA website. Inquiries regarding the Veteran Recognition Program can be directed to [email protected].

Personal Commitment and Support

Brian Hanna, the CRA Executive Director and a former captain in the US Army Reserve, shared his personal connection to these initiatives. Hanna, who served from 2006 to 2012 and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge during his 2010-2011 deployment to Afghanistan, emphasized his understanding of the challenges faced by veterans returning to civilian life. He noted that cannabis has been beneficial for many veterans in managing PTSD symptoms and reducing reliance on potent, addictive painkillers.

Echoing this sentiment, Anton Harb Jr., a disabled Iraq combat veteran and founder of the Veteran Access Program in Michigan, commended the CRA for its commitment. He highlighted that support for veterans was a central element of the ballot proposal when Michigan voters legalized cannabis in 2018. Harb expressed pride in Michigan's leadership in providing these supportive programs for veterans.

In summary, these new programs by the CRA are a significant step towards supporting Michigan's armed services veterans, offering both improved access to cannabis and recognition of veteran-owned businesses in the cannabis industry. Through Task Force 1620 and the Veteran Recognition Program, the CRA aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of veterans in Michigan, acknowledging their service and addressing their specific needs in accessing cannabis.

Share this article:

Spotted a typo, grammatical error, or a factual inaccuracy? Let us know - we're committed to correcting errors swiftly and accurately!

Missed an issue? Browse our newsletter archive to stay updated on past news!

Other Recent News

Michigan Marijuana News thrives thanks to the dedication and support of its readership. If you depend on our comprehensive cannabis coverage to keep you updated and enlightened, we kindly ask you to think about making a monthly commitment through Patreon. Every pledge fuels our mission and ensures the continuity of quality cannabis journalism in Michigan.
Become a Patron!

Upcoming Cannabis Events