Fun Fact: Michigan was the 10th state (and first in the Midwest) to legalize cannabis! Since then, Michigan’s cannabis market has been full of innovative and influential cannabis flower and products for people of all walks of life to enjoy. The state reached $3.2 billion in cannabis sales by 2020.
Legalization has surely made an impact on the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, there have been various negative ripple effects associated with unfair cannabis conviction way before today’s thriving adult-use market.
Keep reading to learn about the many marijuana laws established around expungement in Michigan, as well as resources and information on how you or someone you know can gain access to them.
Michigan’s Clean Slate Law & Expungement: What to Know
Firstly, expungement is the removal of a criminal conviction from a person’s public record.
Before cannabis legalization, and even during its initial years, many residents were charged for convictions related to cannabis (some faced life-impacting penalties and consequences for the possession of something as simple as a joint).
In 2020, Governor Whitmer and the state of Michigan established the Clean Slate Initiative – a set of marijuana laws around automatic felony and offense expungement for cannabis convictions:
- With bipartisan support from the state legislature, the Clean Slate law allows people with cannabis convictions to get up to two felonies and four misdemeanors automatically cleared.
- Additionally, the Clean Slate Act offers an application process where people can apply for expungement for felonies or misdemeanors related to the plant within seven years.
- However, some offenses are not eligible for automatic expungement or through the expungement application process.
The Clean Slate was established by the state of Michigan to set aside any criminal record of cannabis and allow the opportunity for those affected to have affordable housing, find a job, and live securely.
Along with Utah, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other legal cannabis states, Michigan has become an influential expungement trailblazer. (The state is the first to include not just low-level offenses cleared from the record, but low-level felonies automatically as well.)
Cannabis Social Equity in Muskegon, MI
Secondly, last year Michigan’s cannabis industry brought an estimated $290,000 in sales revenue to the city of Muskegon. From this, $40,000 of it will be spent on cannabis social equity programs.
When this initiative first started, a policy of spending 35% excise tax was approved to be allocated to the social equity program.
Spending for this program includes expungement clinics and grants for those who have marijuana convictions. Grants, loans, community education, and safety efforts all exist in these efforts toward social equity.
These funds are also going towards making retailers and cannabis dispensaries in Muskegon, Michigan a more safe and more accessible option for consumers.
For instance: the city of Muskegon agreed to allocate its cannabis social equity earnings towards educational displays on city-owned billboards and provide 5,000 bags with safe, discreet locks for consumers.
Furthermore, there are multiple grants and loans issued to residents in Muskegon that reflect this social equity program, including:
- education & training scholarships
- business startup loans
- marijuana equipment or license grants
Michigan’s Clean Slate Initiative has been projected to help over 235,000 residents who have been convicted of a criminal offense, felony, or misdemeanors regarding cannabis. Cities like Muskegon are an excellent example of how Michigan’s marijuana expungement laws and the Clean Slate Act can help redirect those who have been affected by cannabis convictions.
IndiGrow: Supporting Michigan’s Marijuana Expungement Efforts
Finally, as you can see from the above, the state of Michigan has streamlined a thorough and comprehensive set of marijuana expungement laws. It has also structured social equity programs within cities to help communities affected by cannabis convictions.
At IndiGrow, we believe in providing the best quality cannabis for the Muskegon community and the state of Michigan. As a micro business, our small-batch cannabis and cannabis products are cultivated with a focus on quality, compliance, and safety for all cannabis consumers.
Our team is also committed to social equity and supporting those who have the opportunity for marijuana expungement — thereby having a renewed chance to positively impact their own lives — and Michigan’s cannabis community as well.
Part Owner and Attorney, Karen Kekelik, offers pro bono assistance to those in the Muskegon area with expungements. If you or someone you know is looking for assistance, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this blog/resources were of help! Learn more about Michigan’s cannabis laws and regulations, plus new updates from IndiGrow – all on our blog page.