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Most New Yorkers Oppose Giving First Retail Marijuana Licenses to Those With Prior Cannabis Convictions, Michigan Disburses $150 Million in Cannabis Tax Revenue, and U.S. Senate Approves Cannabis Research Legislation

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Most New Yorkers Oppose Giving First Retail Marijuana Licenses to Those With Prior Cannabis Convictions

Just days after officials in New York approved a policy to give the first retail marijuana licenses to individuals with past cannabis convictions, a poll shows most New York voters are against the idea. Siena College conducted the survey and found that a mere 33 percent of New Yorkers are in favor of ensuring that those most impacted by cannabis prohibition receive the first opportunities to enter the industry. This is in contrast to 54 percent who are against the proposal, and 13 percent who were unsure. Despite these results, advocates still feel that building the legal industry in New York on equity and social justice will help make the state a model for other legal cannabis markets. 

Michigan Disburses $150 Million in Cannabis Tax Revenue

Just as regulators approved the first social consumption site, Michigan officials announced that they are disbursing nearly $150 million in cannabis tax revenue. The funds will be divided between the state’s transportation fund, public schools, and localities across Michigan. Eligible municipalities will receive about $56,400 for each licensed retail cannabis store and microbusiness within its jurisdiction. Last year, each jurisdiction received around $28,000 for each retail location and microbusiness. In addition, $49.3 million will go to the state’s School Aid Fund, which provides resources for K-12 education, and another $49.3 million will go to the Michigan Transportation Fund. 

U.S. Senate Approves Cannabis Research Legislation

A year after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration indicated that they may ease restrictions on cannabis research, the Senate passed legislation that will do exactly that. The bill would allow the Food and Drug Administration to study and conduct research on cannabis products. S253 is co-sponsored by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Senator Brian Shatz of Hawaii. According to a press release issued by Senator Dianne Feinstein, the measure was unanimously approved by a voice note. The bill is now headed to the House of Representatives for review and consideration. 

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