Now that adult recreational use of marijuana is legal in Michigan, dispensaries and the entire industry is starting to change shape. It’s a whole new wild frontier for cannabis!
Here are 5 facts you may not have known about the Michigan marijuana industry.
Recreational use got off to a bit of a rocky start.
We all know that the vote in favor of recreational cannabis use went into effect on December 6, 2018. What you may not have known is that each municipality was left with the decision on whether they would allow dispensaries to sell to recreational customers. Over 1,000 cities and townships chose to opt-out of adult use. This meant that there were nearly 4.7 million Michiganders living where the cannabis industry was banned. Thankfully many of these bans were temporary as many cities were holding off while trying to place regulation ordinances. While there are few places that still hold this ban on dispensaries many others have started to opt-in during the course of 2020.
All Michigan Law Spells Marijana with an H
Every law pertaining to cannabis dispensaries or legalization spells out Mary Jane as Marihuana. This spelling with an “h” dates all the way back to the 1930s. The US has a long history with cannabis laws and while both forms of spelling are acceptable Marihuana was more common in the 30s and was used on all federal documentation. Because of this you’ll only see the “j” spelling of marijuana used on informal communications. According to the MRA there would need to be an act of Michigan Legislature to change the spelling on any future laws. You can thank the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 for this.
Unlike other states, Michigan has not enforced any licensing limits of new permits issued and has left it to individual municipalities to govern their own local ordinances. This leaves room for exponential growth and may be why you might be hearing about a new dispensary opening all the time. The landscape of the cannabis industry is constantly changing and we may look back on this time in Michigan history and equate it to the California Gold Rush. Dispensaries opening during this time of legalization are definitely paving the way and shaping a whole new aspect of industry.
The First Day of Recreational Sales
On December 01, 2019 the sale of recreational cannabis went live. There were only 4 dispensaries open for adult use sales at this time and they brought in an astounding $221,000. Over 2,000 people bought products with hundreds more left standing in line when the dispensaries had to close. Since then the industry has had a bit of a hard time keeping up with recreational demand given medical card holders priority over recreational sales.
High Demand = Higher Profits?
Adult use provisioning centers are in high demand. As of February 2020, there were in total, 43 active adult recreational use licenses and there are countless others that have been added to that tally. The Michigan medical marijuana industry provided product for around 300,000 patients. The U.S. Department of Health estimated there are 1.5 million people in the recreational use market in Michigan alone. That’s a huge untapped market, and once it matures it’s been projected to bring in around 1.7 billion sales per year!
This also means you can expect to see an influx in both small artisanal grow operations and massive full time grow facilities to keep up with this high demand for products needed at the dispensaries. No matter how you slice it, it’s an exciting time to be alive as a cannabis lover or dispensary entrepreneur in Michigan.