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Recreational marijuana retail industry keeps growing, despite some lingering supply issues

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan recreational marijuana market is still going through growing pains after its first month.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency says the state has recorded $8.2 million in recreational cannabis product sales since December 1st. Last week was the highest weekly sales total at just under $1.8 million.

The number of recreational pot shops has continued to expand during the past month, from three on opening day to more than two dozen now.  

“The MRA staff continues to do an excellent job processing applications efficiently and getting licenses to businesses who are interested in participating in the adult-use industry. We’re still at the very beginning of this brand new market and supply is continuing to grow,” says David Harns, MRA spokesman. 

But problems persist.

Robin Schneider is the executive Director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. She says some retailers have completely out of cannabis flower and others are running very low.

State regulators allow retailers to tap in the 50% of 30 day-old products originally produced for medical marijuana patients. 

Shortages may continue to be a problem until licensed recreational growers and processors begin producing more products.

Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana use among adults over the age of 21 in 2018.  Michigan is one of 11 states were recreational use is legal.

Latest statistics from Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency:

Week 5 (12/30 – 1/5) of adult-use sales was the highest weekly total to date ($1,773,789) – and resulted in $177,300 in excise tax and $117,018 in sales tax.

When added to the first four weeks, the grand total for five weeks through 01/05/20 is as follows:

  • $8,251,118 in total adult-use sales
  • $825,112 in excise tax
  • $544,574 in sales tax
  • $1,369,686 in combined excise and sales taxes

Another adult-use license has been issued, bringing the statewide total to 51 adult-use licenses:

  • 26 marijuana retailers
  • 13 class C marijuana grower licenses to 6 different licensees
  • 5 processors
  • 4 secure transporters
  • 2 marijuana event organizers
  • 1 marijuana safety compliance facility

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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