State cuts pot fees for 19 cities hit by drug war

LANSING (AP) — Michigan regulators announced Thursday a cut in marijuana licensing fees for prospective business owners living in 19 cities whose residents were disproportionately impacted by the drug war.

Under the new “social equity” program, applicants with proposed pot establishments in minority, poor communities like Detroit and Flint and college towns such as East Lansing and Mt. Pleasant will pay up to 60% less in fees. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency determined the communities’ eligibility by analyzing their number of pot-related convictions and the poverty rate.

Regulators are required to “positively impact” communities where marijuana enforcement was intense and encourage their residents to participate in the pot industry.