Applicants for the social equity program in Michigan’s cannabis industry no longer have to pay an additional application fee if their prequalification status has expired.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the change to the Cannabis Regulatory Agency on Tuesday.
“Removing this barrier to entry for social equity program participants in the cannabis industry will lower the cost of doing business and promote sustainable small business growth in Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This essential update will directly benefit business owners who have been most impacted by unfair laws and practices and ensure that Michigan continues leading the way in building an equitable, just, and prosperous cannabis industry.”
The social equity program was designed to help people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the racist war on drugs to get a leg up in the new legal industry. It offers reduced application fees for people from communities impacted by cannabis prohibition, including a 25% fee reduction for residents who have lived in an impacted community for at least 5 years, a 25% fee reduction for applicants with misdemeanor cannabis-related crime convictions, and 40% for cannabis-related felonies.
The non-refundable application fee for prequalification is $3,000. Additional fees range from $1,000 for cannabis event organizers and consumption establishments and $24,000 for growers and processors.
Social equity applicants will be required to submit a new prequalification application, but they will not be charged an additional application fee.
“Listening to stakeholders is very important to the success of this industry and is one of my top objectives,” acting CRA executive director Brian Hanna said in a statement. “I am proud that my team has found a way to make this improvement to our processes a reality for our social equity participants.”
More information is available at michigan.gov/cra.
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