‘It’s wrong that people with cannabis charges on their records continue to be punished at a time when we have full legalization in this state’
Three cannabis dispensaries in Michigan are currently offering “redemption discounts.” Stores in Grand Rapids, East Tawas and Ann Arbor — founded by someone caught up in the U.S. War on Drugs — are providing those who have also been affected with a chance at cheaper weed.
The brainchild of Redemption Cannabis and believed to the first such program of its kind in the U.S., the discount amounts to five per cent or 10 per cent, respectively, off pot purchases for those with misdemeanour or felony weed convictions.
It’s on the honour system, so no need for proof of conviction.
One store provides price cuts on all cannabis products, while the two others are discounting Redemption brand products only.
Ryan Basore, owner and CEO of Redemption Cannabis, spent three years in federal prison for charges related to serving as a medical marijuana caregiver, notes a statement from the company.
Giving is in the company DNA. Up and running since last year, Redemption Cannabis’s mission is to dedicate 10 per cent of proceeds to helping those who have been harmed by weed prohibition, including supporting grants for job skills training programs, prisoner re-entry initiatives and expungement clinics.
“It’s wrong that people with cannabis charges on their records continue to be punished at a time when we have full legalization in this state,” Russ Chambers, CEO of The Botanical Company, notes in the statement.
“It is an honour to offer this discount to patients and customers like him (Basore) who have helped build the foundation of our industry in the face of the injustice of prohibition,” adds Om of Medicine co-founder Mark Passerini.
“Although minorities use and sell drugs at a similar rate as whites,” according to the Georgetown Law Library, “the proportion of those incarcerated in state prisons for drug offences who are black or latino is 57 per cent.”
In a bid to clear some of the hurdles to entry for Michigan’s legal weed industry, according to Detroit Metro Times, the state has “expanded its cannabis social equity program to offer discounts on licensing fees for qualified applicants.”
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