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Recreational marijuana sales top $100 million, as state expands social equity program

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s recreational marijuana industry last week surpassed $100 million in total sales since the retail industry became legal last December.    

Recently, state regulators expanded a program to help people with marijuana convictions get a foothold in Michigan’s legal cannabis industry.

The intent of the Social Equity Program is to promote and encourage participation in Michigan’s cannabis industry by people from communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition.

Under the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, the program offers discounts on application and licensing fees for individuals who have a marijuana conviction.  But the conviction cannot involve distribution of a controlled substance to a minor. 

Launched nearly a year ago, the program was initially focused on 19 Michigan communities. Starting June 1st, the number of disproportionately impacted communities included in the program is expanding to 184.

Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana use in 2018. State officials spent most of 2019 drafting rules and regulations for governing cannabis products designed for sale for adult-use.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.