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A prior marijuana conviction could be a good thing for owners of Michigan pot businesses

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A previous marijuana-related conviction could help entrepreneurs hoping to open a recreational marijuana business in Michigan.

Michigan officials are trying to attract a wider variety of businesses to the booming recreational marijuana industry, not just those with deep pockets.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency, a subdivision of the state Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Administration that regulates marijuana business, on Tuesday announced expansion of a program beginning June 1 to draw more residents from poorer communities and those with prior marijuana convictions.

If you have a marijuana-related felony conviction — so long as it wasn’t for distribution to a minor — the state is offering a 40% discount on the $6,000 application fee and licensing fees that initially cost $25,000 for a retail license and up to $40,000 for processing businesses or growers of up to 2,000 plants, based on proposed rules that have yet to be finalized. Annual renewal fees are similar, but fluctuate according on the size of the business.

Anyone with a marijuana-related misdemeanor conviction receives a 25% discount, as well as anyone who’s lived in a designated social equity community for five of the last 10 years. Another 10% exemption applies to applicants who’ve registered as a medical marijuana caregiver for at least two years between 2008 and 2017. [Read more at MLive.com]

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