NEWS
Cannabis Charges On Your Record? These Michigan Pot Shops Will Give You a Discount
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The “Redemption Discount” initiative was introduced by Wolverine State bud brand Redemption, a cannabis company founded by victims of the War on Drugs that’s focused on restoring justice to the world of weed.
Published on June 5, 2020

At least three cannabis dispensaries in different cities across Michigan have joined together to offer what they are calling “Redemption Discounts” — 5-10 percent off pot purchases for any customer who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony cannabis crime.

According to the Detroit Metro Times, the justice-minded discounts are the brainchild of Redemption Cannabis, a Wolverine State bud brand founded by victims of the War on Drugs that’s focused on righting the wrongs of prohibition’s past. Now, at The Botanical Co. in East Tawas, and Om of Medicine in Ann Arbor, anyone with a past cannabis misdemeanor will get 5 percent off Redemption products while customers with a past felony will receive a 10 percent discount on Redemption products. At Pharmhouse Wellness in Grand Rapids, the same discounts will apply to all products, not just Redemption brand bud.

"This discount program is just one of the many ways we plan on supporting the cannabis reform movement," The Botanical Company CEO Russ Chambers said in a statement. "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."

Even in the wake of legalization, most cannabis convictions are yet to be expunged from Michigan residents’ criminal records. For Ryan Basore, who started Redemption Cannabis after a three-year stint in federal prison due to pot charges, those contradictions of cannabis legalization are still glaring. In addition to offering customers discounts, Basore also donates 10 percent of all Redemption’s profits to causes that help cannabis offenders, from grants and job skill training, to expungement initiatives and re-entry programs.

“Ryan and everyone else who caught a charge pushing this industry forward created opportunities for many people,” Pharmhouse Wellness Manager Chris Silva told Benzinga. “With this discount, we ensure they're recognized for the sacrifice they made for cannabis.” 

In an effort to knock down some of the high barriers to entry in the state’s legal weed industry, Michigan recently expanded its cannabis social equity program to offer discounts on licensing fees for qualified applicants. 

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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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