Subscribe Us

header ads

MM Report Special News - September 2019


Mariuhana Social Equity:  Rule 23 Explained

In the July 3 emergency rules, Rule 23, Communities; disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition, reads a little vague and leaves much for interpretation.  We recently contacted the MRA for clarity, which they were happy to provide.  

First, the rule as worded in the official document:

Rule 23. Communities; disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition. (1) Pursuant to section 8 of the act, MCL 333.27958, the agency shall establish a plan that promotes and encourages participation in the marihuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities. (2) The agency shall publish information about the plan which shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (a) The criteria used to select communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition and enforcement. (b) Based on the selection criteria, a list of the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition and enforcement. (c) The requirements persons in those communities shall meet to utilize services and resources offered through the plan. (d) The services and resources that are available to those communities and qualifying persons residing in and planning to operate a marihuana establishment in those communities selected in subdivision (b) above. (e) Specific goals and objectives for the plan. (3) The agency shall collect data to measure its progress towards achieving the specific goals and objectives outlined in subdivision (e). (4) The agency shall publish a list of services and resources offered through the plan, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (a) Education and outreach to the communities and potential applicants from the community. (b) Waiving or reducing fees for qualified applicants from the communities. (c) Increased assistance with the application process for applicants from these communities. (d) Coordinating communities’, applicants’, and licensees’ utilization of resources that will allow participation in the marihuana industry. 

So what exactly does this mean? Communities were defined as eligible using: 
  1. Marijuana-related conviction data (including possession and distribution) provided by the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center for a 10 year span from November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2018. 
  2. Poverty-level information gathered by American FactFinder in report S1701 (https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk) from American Community Survey 5-year estimates.  This report was then whittled down to “Percent below poverty level - Population for whom poverty status is determined” for each place listed in the report, including villages, towns, and census-designated places (CDP).  Michigan State Police assisted with the data by creating layered maps using ArcMap (a geospacial processing program).
From this data, locations were selected in which 30% or more of the population live below the federal poverty rate.  These nineteen mailing addresses were chosen as the official definition disproportionately impacted communities.  They are as follows:

Albion 
Benton Harbor
Detroit
East Lansing
Ecorse
Flint
Highland Park
Hamtramack
Inkster
Kalamazoo
Mt. Morris
Mt. Pleasant
Muskegon
Muskegon Heights
Niles
Pontiac
River Rouge
Saginaw
Ypsilanti

Individuals who qualify will have the opportunity to open marijuana establishments in these communities with a potential reduction of up to 60% off the application fee, initial license fee, and future renewal fees.  Qualifications and the tiered system of reductions are:
  • 25% reduction for those who have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionally impacted communities for the past five years
  • An additional 25% reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionately impacted communities AND have a marijuana-related conviction
  • An additional 10% reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionately impacted communities AND were registered as primary caregivers for at least two years
Social equity representatives will confirm any eligibility for participation in this program by accepting several forms of documentation.


Rules Clarification Debunks Advertising Myth

There is a commonly held misconception that marijuana provisioning centers, both medicinal and forethcoming recreational (or adult-use), can not advertise pricing, sales, specials, discounts, or anything of that nature.  After examining the MRA rules and finding nothing that states such a thing, we contacted the agency at mra-adult-use-marijuana@michigan.gov for clarifiaction.

Rule 76 of the final medicinal marihuana rules (michigan.gov/documents/lara/2017-042_LR_-_Final_-Medical_Marihuana_640679_7.pdf, page 32) reads:

R 333.276 Marketing and advertising restrictions.
 Rule 76. (1) A marihuana facility shall comply with all municipal ordinances, state law,
and these rules that regulate signs and advertising.
 (2) A licensee shall not engage in advertising that is deceptive, false, or misleading. A
licensee shall not make any deceptive, false, or misleading assertions or statements on any
marihuana product, any sign, or any document provided.
 (3) A licensee shall not advertise a marihuana product where the advertisement is visible
to members of the public from any street, sidewalk, park, or other public place. A licensee
shall not advertise or market a marihuana product to members of the public unless the
licensee has reliable evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience or readership
for the television program, radio program, internet web site, or print publication, is
reasonably expected to be aged 17 years or younger. Any marihuana product advertised or
marketed under this rule shall include the warnings listed in R 333.273(1)(k).
 (4) A marihuana product must be marketed or advertised as “medical marihuana” for
use only by registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers.
 (5) A marihuana product must not be marketed or advertised to minors aged 17 years or
younger. Sponsorships targeted to members aged 17 years or younger are prohibited.

While rule 52 of the July 3 emergency rules for adult-use (michigan.gov/documents/lara/Adult_Use_Marihuana_Establishments_659804_7.pdf, page 47) reads:

Rule 52. Marketing and advertising restrictions.
 (1) A marihuana establishment shall comply with all municipal ordinances, state law, and
these rules that regulate signs and advertising.
 (2) A licensee shall not engage in advertising that is deceptive, false, or misleading. A
licensee shall not make any deceptive, false, or misleading assertions or statements on any
marihuana product, any sign, or any document provided.
 (3) A licensee shall not advertise or market a marihuana product to members of the public
unless the licensee has reliable evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience or
readership for the television program, radio program, internet web site, or print publication,
is reasonably expected to be under 21 years of age. Any marihuana product advertised or
marketed under this rule shall include the warnings listed in Rule 49(1)(k).
 (4) A marihuana product must be marketed or advertised as “marihuana” for use only by
individuals 21 years of age or older.
 (5) A marihuana product must not be marketed or advertised to individuals under 21 years
of age. Sponsorships targeted to members under 21 years of age are prohibited.

To make absolutely sure our assessment was correct, the MRA was asked if it would be accurate to state that there is nothing illegal about a medicinal or adult-use establishment advertising pricing and discounts.

To which MRA spokesperson David Harns responded, “We do not prohibit that.”










Post a Comment

0 Comments