Residents of 19 Michigan cities are gearing up to take part in the state’s cannabis social justice program. The business licensing discount system is designed to prioritize entrepreneurs in the new industry who are longtime residents of economically underprivileged areas, who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs, and who have a demonstrated interest in facilitating access to cannabis.
Residents of selected local jurisdictions have been invited to attend one of a series of public meetings orchestrated by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory System. The events are being held in the eligible cities themselves, which include Albion, Benton Harbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Ecorse, Flint, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Inkster, Kalamazoo, Mount Morris, Mount Pleasant, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Niles, Pontiac, River Rouge, Saginaw, and Ypsilanti.
Applicants will be able to submit their paperwork for the program starting November 1, the date when the state will open up to recreational cannabis business applications of all stripes.
The social equity program stems from Section 8 of 2018’s Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which laid the groundwork for a recreational marijuana industry in the state and was approved by 56 percent of voters. That measure calls for “a plan to promote and encourage