Michigan Agency Launches Social Equity Program to Tackle Essential Issues

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The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) launched a new program to improve social equity in the state’s cannabis industry. On August 31, the MRA launched the Joint Ventures Pathway Program (JVPP), which is the culmination of an organized discussion that was held earlier this year.  “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. When the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act passed in 2018 by voter approval, it stated that the MRA was in charge of creating and enforcing all laws related to commercial cannabis businesses. It also 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’s press release states that the law’s language was not enough to satisfy the needs for social equity in Michigan, so it created the Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup in 2020. The group was made up of local officials, state officials and “industry stakeholders,” such as Representative Sarah Anthony, Senator Marshall Bullock and business owners Anqunette Sarah and Tatiana Grant.   This group met in July 2020 through December 2020 before releasing its final recommendations in January 2021.  “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, in a press release publishing the group’s final recommendations and explaining their plan…

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Source : Michigan Agency Launches Social Equity Program to Tackle Essential Issues

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