Minorities find themselves almost shut out of Michigan’s marijuana business


When Margeaux Bruner looked into the possibility of getting a license to enter the blossoming marijuana industry, she realized she would face some barriers that might be impossible to overcome.

The Novi resident has bachelor’s and master’s degrees and worked in the logistics industry, which would be handy skills if she was able to get a secure transporter license. But she also had gone through a divorce, which led to a bankruptcy that could be a disqualifying factor if she applied for a medical marijuana business license from the state.

Plus, the financial requirements to get into the industry — a $6,000 state application fee, $66,000 state regulatory assessments, $5,000 application fee from a local municipality and proof of $200,000 in assets — were an exorbitant hurdle.

“I understood very early on that I wouldn’t qualify. No. 1 was the capital requirement and I knew that the bankruptcy would potentially put me in jeopardy,” she said. “But I was still completely driven to get involved in the industry in some capacity.”

She now is the political director for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, a Lansing-based advocacy group for the marijuana industry. [Read more at Detroit Free Press]