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Michigan Launches Program To Improve Equity & Equality

Michigan Launches Program To Improve Equity & Equality

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency launched the Joint Ventures Pathway Program to help bring social equity to the cannabis industry.

“Based on a recommendation made by the Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup earlier this year, the JVPP will connect eligible social equity participants—and those seeking to become social equity participants—with adult-use licensees, potential adult-use licensees, and any businesses that wish to work with social equity participants interested in pursuing partnerships, including: joint business ventures, mentorships, incubator program, employment,” the MRA’s statement reads.

Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act passed in 2018 and it directed the MRA to “create 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 is committed to making Michigan the model agency in the country, including being a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the marijuana industry,” said Andrew Brisbo, MRA executive director. “As the agency responsible for implementing and administering the laws governing commercial licensure, the MRA recognizes the importance of equity in opportunity for businesses operating in this newly legalized industry.”

Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows of those incarcerated for drug offenses, 80 percent of federal prisoners and 60 percent in the state penitentiary, are Black or Latino. Marijuana Regulatory Agency data also shows 3.8 percent of marijuana business owners were Black, and 1.5 percent were Latino.

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