Michigan regulators are proposing new taxes on marijuana, including a 3% excise tax on medical marijuana sales and a 1.5% tax on all business-to-business transactions.
Proceeds from the medical sales tax could generate nearly $12 million per year, based on the pace of medical sales in December alone, with a primary goal of promoting and funding new minority-run marijuana businesses.
Officials haven’t revealed how much additional revenue the proposed inter-business tax would generate, although it’s likely to be substantial. Medical and recreational sales combined eclipsed $100 million in the last month of 2020.
Michigan, like other states, has struggled to incorporate Black and brown entrepreneurs into its fledgling recreational market since it kicked off in December 2019, nor in the medical market, which started in 2016.
Based on a December survey conducted by the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency, about 3.8% of existing licensed recreational cannabis businesses have a Black ownership stake, and 1.5% have Hispanic ownership. Black and Hispanic communities make up 19% and 5.3% of Michigan’s population, respectively, based on the latest U.S. Census estimates.
When Michigan voters passed the recreational marijuana ballot initiative in 2018, language in the law that mimicked efforts in other states like California called for “social equity” within the industry, the idea being that minority and low-income communities suffered the most from marijuana prohibition and should therefore benefit from its legalization.
State lawmakers have sought