Local communities in Michigan are making things unbelievably hard for marihuana businesses. Among all this bad news, there is some source of optimism. Crain's discusses the MRA's social equity program:
The state program was rolled out earlier this year by the state's Marijuana Regulatory Agency, a branch of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. It has held dozens of informational meetings throughout the 41 communities that have been identified as being adversely affected by marijuana enforcement. The agency's goal is for 50 percent of licensees in targeted areas to have also been beneficiaries of the program.
The Crains focuses on the story of Cory Roberts, a man once convicted on marihuana charges in Michigan, now looking for a second chance under MRTMA.
The source of his woes is now at the center of a business he dreams of growing once the state begins accepting recreational marijuana business licenses Nov. 1. He's also at the front of the line for a state social equity program designed to help those most hurt by past marijuana crackdowns.
"It almost brings tears to my eyes thinking about how it is a way of saying sorry," Roberts said.
This would be really moving if it weren't for the fact that almost HALF of local Michigan municipalities voted to opt out of recreational marihuana. We are trying really, really hard to give local officials in Michigan the benefit of the doubt on these decisions. We certainly DON'T want to say that this an attempt to shake down the industry for more local cash--but if their "opt out" is characterized as "temporary" and they don't specifically say what might remedy the delay, you might conclude they are hiding their motivations for a reason.