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Michigan Expands 'Social Equity' Plan to Keep Poor Communities High on Pot

Past felony convicts are eligible for 40% discount on state-regulated marijuana cards…

MI Marijuana Agency Expands 'Social Equity Program' to Get Pot to the Disadvantaged
A marijuana dispensary in Michigan / IMAGE: WOOD TV8 via YouTube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) While Michigan‘s “non-essential” businesses are closed and many of the state’s residents are under house arrest, the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency has made it easier for “disproportionately impacted communities” and persons to access cannabis.
As part of the MRA’s “social equity program,” citizens in certain communities as well as former marijuana-related convicts will gain “increased benefits, further reduced fees and enhanced eligibility,” according to the bureaucracy’s press release. 
The MRA will increase the number of disproportionately impacted communities from 41 to 184. The list seems to include most major cities and counties in the state, from Grand Rapids to Ann Arbor to Detroit.
These changes come as part of MRA’s mandate, under the Taxation of Marijuana Act, “to develop a plan to promote and encourage participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities.”
The MRA will encourage poorer communities and individuals to buy and use marijuana.
The agency currently considers communities in which convictions for marijuana, excluding convictions for distributing marijuana to minors, are higher than the state’s median average, and in which at least 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty level to be disproportionately impacted communities.
The MRA will lower the threshold to 20 percent of the population living in poverty on June 1.
Residents who have lived in a disproportionately affected community for at least five of the last 10 years will get 25 percent off their fees for a marijuana card.
Those convicted in the past of a marijuana-related misdemeanor will, likewise, get 25 percent off their fees. Those convicted of a marijuana-related felony will get the most benefit, however, with 40 percent off their fees.

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