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Michigan's marijuana industry leaves people of color behind

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 10:10:12-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP)  — The first year of state-licensed recreational marijuana sales in Michigan saw $511 million of sales in recreational and $474 million in medical sales, generating over $100 million in tax revenue, but the state also found that the industry drastically failed to attract minority business owners.

The state collected data in December that showed 79% of people interested in ownership of licensed marijuana facilities were white. Black people accounted for 3.8% while 1.5% were Hispanic or Latino.

In response, a workgroup comprised largely of people of color who are experts in equity programming, has released recommendations that would create partnerships with large businesses and local municipalities to equip communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana being illegal until 2018.