Social Equity Definition / Criteria
- i. Previous Cannabis Conviction:
- ii. Income:
- iii. State Residency:
- iv. Qualifying Neighborhood / Municipal Residency:
Michigan offers a Social Equity Program, which is designed to encourage participation in the marijuana industry by people who live in the 19 Michigan communities which have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement.
To qualify for Michigan’s social equity program individuals must meet one of the following criteria
- Residency in a disproportionately impacted community for at least 5 cumulative years within the past 10 years.
- Conviction of a marijuanarelated offense.
- Registration as a primary caregiver under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) for at least 2 years between 2008 and 2017.
Social Equity Provisions
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) provides educational sessions regarding the Social Equity Program and the application and licensure process. The MRA’s social equity representatives will be available to assist individuals with completing the social equity application during the educational sessions.
The MRA’s social equity representatives will provide the following services:
- Answer questions regarding the adult-use application and licensing process
- Provide one-on-one assistance with completing the licensure application
- Compile educational resources relevant to the marijuana industry and help coordinate applicants’ use of the resources
- Identify resources at other state agencies and in the private sector (attorneys, accountants, etc.) that qualifying applicants can utilize to answer questions
The MRA will make resources available to disproportionately impacted communities and individuals who qualify for participation in the Social Equity Program.
The MRA has partnered with other State agencies who offer services that are relevant to individuals or businesses participating in the adult-use marijuana industry. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Treasury – understanding tax requirements and making tax payments
- EGLE – understanding and complying with relevant environmental laws
- Bureau of Fire Services – understanding pre-licensure inspections
- Wage & Hour – worker compensation, wage requirement/benefits, employee benefits
- Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing – business registration
- DHHS – Safe use of marijuana products and compliance with the Smoke Free Air Law
- MIOSHA – safety and health education training
The MRA has partnered with medical facility licensees and individuals from the private sector to provide educational presentations to – and act as resources for – applicants who qualify for the Social Equity Program. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Educational presentations by medical facility licensees on how their marijuana businesses are operated
- Potential mentorships with medical facility licensees who enter the Adult – Use market
- Educational presentations and consultations with certified public accountants who service the marijuana industry
- Educational presentations and consultations with attorneys who service the marijuana industry
License Priorities and Set Asides
- License Priorities / Set Asides:
Michigan does not offer social equity applicants licensing priority nor does the state reserve a specific percentage or type of license for social equity operators.
Fee Waivers and Reductions
- Fee Waivers / Reductions:
Participating in the Social Equity Program allows qualifying applicants whose marijuana establishments will be located in disproportionately impacted communities to benefit from a reduction of up to 75% off the application fee, the initial license fee, and future renewal fees as follows:
- Residency in a disproportionately impacted community for at least five cumulative years within the past 10 years: 25% fee reduction.
- Conviction of a marijuana-related offense. Misdemeanor convictions: 25% fee reduction. Felony convictions: 40% fee reduction
- An additional 10% reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionately impacted communities for the past five years AND were registered as primary caregivers for at least two years between 2008 and 2017.
Eligible social equity participants who plan to operate a marijuana establishment outside of a disproportionately impacted community will receive a fee reduction for only 2 years following adult-use licensure.
Other Financial Support for Social Equity Applicants and Licensees
Michigan currently does not currently appropriate any specific funding to support its social equity program.