MUSKEGON, MI – The marijuana trade introduced almost $290,000 in revenues to the town of Muskegon final yr and about $40,000 of it is going to be spent on social fairness applications, together with expungement clinics and grants to these with marijuana convictions.
The overwhelming majority of the revenues to metropolis authorities – from excise taxes and licensing charges – went into the overall fund to pay for numerous metropolis bills, Muskegon Finance Director Kenneth Grant instructed MLive.
Town fee adopted a coverage to spend 35% of its excise tax revenues on a three-pronged social fairness program, stated Muskegon Planning Director Mike Franzak, who oversees the town’s marijuana companies. That program consists of grants and loans, expungement clinics and group schooling and security efforts.
“I feel the social fairness program has been nice, particularly for individuals who have been harm by marijuana prohibition,” Franzak stated. “We noticed that for the grant program. That cash went rapidly.”
Final yr, the town acquired $112,000 in excise tax on leisure marijuana gross sales, of which it’s spending $39,200 on social fairness. It additionally acquired $177,000 in licensing charges from medical and leisure marijuana institutions, together with develop operations, processing companies, microbusinesses that develop and promote, and retail institutions.
Meaning almost $250,000 went to pay basic metropolis bills, together with the prices of regulating and inspecting native marijuana companies.
Franzak stated he plans to satisfy with metropolis commissioners quickly to debate funneling extra marijuana tax revenues to social applications.
“We all know that a number of the expungement clinics right here have been very nicely attended,” he stated. “There are nonetheless lots of people on the market who need assistance.”
Town might obtain extra in excise tax revenues from the state, which distributes the funds based mostly on a group’s share of leisure marijuana retail licenses statewide. In fiscal yr 2020, The ten% tax was levied on $341 million in leisure gross sales, and communities acquired $28,000 per license.
Muskegon had 4 licenses on the time the cash was distributed. Now it has a couple of dozen, Franzak stated.
9 leisure dispensaries at the moment are working within the metropolis.
“I might count on extra funding,” Franzak stated.
Town has strict landscaping and streetlight necessities for dispensaries, and generally it’s more economical and uniform for the town to do a number of the landscaping and ornamental streetlight placement itself, Franzak stated. Because of this, some dispensaries have given the town cash to do the work, and streetscaping revenues have totaled $58,255.
Town plans to spend a few of that cash to put in 12 streetlights on the bike path alongside Laketon Avenue the place a number of dispensaries are clustered, Franzak stated.
Earlier this month, Muskegon metropolis commissioners agreed to spend $13,700 of its social fairness allocation for marijuana academic shows on city-owned message boards and 5,000 luggage with locks for safe-keeping of hashish.
The show messages will contact on such topics as not utilizing marijuana earlier than driving or working or whereas pregnant. The baggage will likely be given out to dispensaries for distribution to their prospects, Franzak stated earlier.
Town additionally has several loans and grants below its social fairness program:
- Schooling and coaching scholarship. The $5,000 grant reimburses such prices as tuition or job abilities coaching upon profitable completion of this system. Candidates will need to have been a Muskegon resident for a minimum of 12 of the prior 48 months and have had a earlier “low-level” marijuana conviction.
- Enterprise start-up grant. The $5,000 grant can be utilized for numerous prices, together with tools, marketing strategy growth, enterprise coaching programs and architect charges. It additionally can be utilized for rental help. Candidates will need to have had a earlier low-level marijuana conviction.
- Enterprise start-up mortgage. Curiosity free “hole” loans of as much as $25,000 can be found to complement conventional financing by a 3rd celebration. Loans have to be repaid inside 60 months. Candidates will need to have been a Muskegon resident for a minimum of 12 of the prior 48 months and have had a earlier “low-level” marijuana conviction.
- Marijuana tools grant. As much as $10,000 is on the market as reimbursement for rising tools, workplace wants and extra which can be wanted to function a marijuana facility within the metropolis. Candidates will need to have had a earlier low-level marihuana conviction or be designated as a social fairness applicant by the State of Michigan.
- Marijuana license grant. As much as $10,000 is on the market to assist pay the charges for acquiring an area or state marijuana license. Candidates will need to have had a earlier low-level marijuana conviction or be designated as a social fairness applicant by the State of Michigan.
To be a social fairness applicant designated by the state, a person will need to have been a resident of a group disproportionately impacted by prior marijuana legal guidelines, of which Muskegon is one, for a minimum of 5 of the earlier 10 years; have a marijuana conviction; or be a registered medical marijuana caregiver.
For a grant or mortgage utility, click on here.
Town allotted $11,760 for the grants and mortgage program and spent a lot of the cash by giving out two $5,000 grants final yr, Franzak stated.
There’s some indication the town fee will determine to allocate more cash to the grants and loans program, Franzak stated.
Town of Muskegon additionally allotted $13,720 for marijuana conviction expungement clinics, which haven’t been carried out but and could also be coordinated with clinics supplied by Muskegon County, he stated. The clinics assist people put together court docket paperwork wanted for expungement.
“We’ll be assembly within the subsequent couple of months to debate how these applications went and the way we anticipate spending the cash for subsequent yr,” Franzak stated.
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