LANSING – Michigan’s marijuana industry says it is solidly behind plans to improve racial diversity in the growing, processing, testing, transportation and sale of the product.
But industry representatives are mostly opposed to imposing higher taxes as a way of paying for programs to promote greater participation by people of color.
Still, proponents of higher taxes say Michigan’s marijuana industry is not highly taxed, relative to other states, and new revenues could not only help improve diversity, but could help better compensate municipal governments that host cannabis businesses, aiding the growth of the industry as a whole.
When the report was released, the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association expressed “strong support for the Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup’s work on proposals to increase minority ownership and participation in Michigan’s burgeoning cannabis industry,” but slammed the tax proposals.
“We should be focusing on reducing costs and this proposal will only serve to drive patients to the illicit market,” said Anqunette “Q” Sarfoh, an association board member who was also part of the work group. “As a cannabis patient with multiple sclerosis, the idea of creating another financial barrier between patients and their medicine is abhorrent.”