Sen. Irwin Introduces Bill to Remove ‘Moral Character Clause’ from Michigan Marijuana Licensing Law

LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 2, 2021) — Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) has introduced Senate Bill 619 that would remove language allowing the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to deny a license to any applicant on account of their “moral character” or if they have any previous marijuana-related offenses.

Under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency is empowered to deny an applicant because of their ‘integrity, moral character, and reputation’ or if the applicant has any prior marijuana-related offenses, even if the offense has been pardoned, expunged, or reversed.

“Removing the ‘moral character clause’ eliminates unnecessary subjectivity from the licensure process,” Sen. Irwin said. “People with prior marijuana-related convictions should not be excluded from participating in the industry if they otherwise meet the requirements to receive a marijuana facility license.”

The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, the law regulating adult-use cannabis facilities, has no language allowing the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to consider an applicant’s ‘moral character’ or prior marijuana-related offenses. This bill would align Michigan’s medical cannabis law with the state’s adult-use law.

“In the past two years, I’ve been proud to work with my colleagues passing legislation that ensures that people with criminal convictions can earn a living and move forward with their lives,” Sen. Irwin said. “With this legislation, we can continue that progress.”


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