Michigan's Cannabis Social Equity Program Explained

September 13th, 2023 Safety & Education
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The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has launched a Social Equity Program to support residents from areas most affected by previous marijuana laws. This initiative is based on the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Its goal is to boost involvement in the cannabis industry for those from these affected communities.

Warner's Cannabis Industry Group wholeheartedly supports this initiative. They commend the incentives given to those who suffered due to past marijuana restrictions. The group also praises businesses that give back to their local areas. These standout businesses are spotlighted in the "All Star Program", which we'll dive into later.

Who Can Join & What Are The Benefits?

Qualifying for the Social Equity Program:

  • 25% Fee Discount: Live for a total of five years in a CRA-identified community that was affected by old marijuana laws. (Check the CRA's list for eligible communities).

  • 25-40% Fee Discount: Have a past marijuana-related conviction—25% off for misdemeanors, and 40% off for felonies.

  • 10% Fee Discount: Were a caregiver under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act for any two years between 2008 and 2017. (Refer to the infographic for more details).

To prove eligibility, like residency in an affected community, one might need to provide documents such as mortgage statements, tax documents, or utility bills.

New members can enjoy these Social Equity Program benefits for two years. After that, they can renew their membership annually.

Already involved in the adult-use cannabis business? You can join the Social Equity Program anytime by filling out an "EAL" form. However, you can't apply discounts retroactively. Yet, once part of the program, you'll get fee reductions during renewals or when applying for new licenses.

Spotlight on the All-Star Program

Launched in May 2022, the Social Equity All-Star Program rewards businesses championing diversity, fairness, and community involvement. To get recognized:

  • Bronze Level: Share your plans for social equity on the CRA site.

  • Silver Level: Share your plans for social equity and corporate spending on the CRA site.

  • Gold Level: Share your plans for social equity, corporate spending, and community reinvestment on the CRA site.

Having an All-Star status is seen as a mark of a company's commitment to its community. Some local governments even prefer businesses with All-Star badges. Need help crafting or sharing your plans? We're here to guide you and help you benefit from this rewarding program.

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