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Social Equity Program and Impact to Applications, Lessons from MRA’s Educational Sessions

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Social Equity Program and Impact to Applications, Lessons from MRA’s Educational Sessions

As required under the new adult use act—Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA), MRA is required to create a social equity program to “promote and encourage participation in the marihuana industry by people of communities that have been disproportionally impacted by marihuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities” MCL 333.27958(1)(J). Continuing its effort to assist eligible applicants wanting to enter the cannabis industry, MRA is holding numerous sessions across the state to begin education on the “how to” and “what to expect” for eligible individuals looking to apply and operate in the industry.  

In addition to MRA’s educational program for 19 impacted communities selected that meet the requirements (conviction rate and poverty), applicants for licenses under the MRTMA will also be required to provide a social equity plan when submitting an application for adult use licensure. Social equity plans were not apart of the Medical Marihuana Facility License Act (MMFLA). To date, MRA has not provided clear guidance on any criteria needed in the design of a social equity plan for applicants not necessarily meeting the criteria of an impacted community or an applicant outside of the impacted community that wishes to apply.  

In the few take-aways from the educational sessions, we are learning that 1) MRA will publish these plans from applicants; and 2) applicants can learn from other states with social equity programs some options to consider for their own plans when applying.

As we approach the November 1st kick off of adult use licensing, stay tuned to Dykema’s Cannabis Blog for further information on this and other topics regarding adult use regulation in Michigan.