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Justin Hodge on How Cannabis-based Taxes Can Support Equity Initiatives

July 1, 2021

Clinical Assistant Professor and Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge was quoted in Concentrate on the county’s plans to use taxes from the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry to address racial inequity. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners recently approved a budget amendment that will use all annual revenue from the marijuana excise tax, which is expected to produce $200,000 per year, to create equity-based programming initiatives. Hodge wants this budget amendment to help expand the county’s Racial Equity Office.

“I’d like to see us grow that office to several more staff, so that they’re in the position to work intensely across the county to promote racial justice and equity initiatives,” Hodge said. “Some of that might look like doing trainings, doing audits of departments, providing resources in the community, and making sure that all of the initiatives coming out of every county department are approached through an anti-racism lens.”

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