GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In Michigan, the marijuana industry continues to reach new highs.
According to a Friday report from Crain’s Detroit Business, Michigan is the top marijuana market in the country. Bigger states like California will always beat Michigan in total sales, but when it comes to sales per capita, Michigan has a higher ranking.
Through the first seven months of 2023, Michigan’s marijuana industry sold $1.7 billion worth of product, Crain’s reported based on data from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Of that, $58.8 million was medical marijuana, and just over $1.6 billion was recreational.
“If you look at it, California is a much larger marijuana state,” explained Dustin Walsh, a senior reporter with Crain’s Detroit Business and the author of the report. “But because we propped up our system with a low tax regime, the market ended up being low prices. It allowed consumers to be on that market very quickly.”
Michigan is also an unlimited licensure state. This, along with the state’s low taxes, is the reason why Michigan is in the lead, according to Walsh.
“So basically, anyone that could raise the amount of funds and find a local municipality to allow them to open up a dispensary or a grow operation could do so,” Walsh said.
According to the report, weed is currently outselling distilled booze in the state, and sales could top $3 billion this year, which Walsh said he believes will happen.
“I also don’t suspect that that’s necessarily going be the top,” he said. “But how much bigger we can get is a question — where if California, for instance, can get a lot of its illegal market back into the legal side, their market is easily double what it currently is.”
On Friday, News 8 sat down with Shoran Reid Williams, general counsel and chief regulatory officer with Fluresh, a dispensary located in Adrian and Grand Rapids.
According to Williams, though the market is on the up in Michigan, profit for businesses is still lacking in many ways.
“Everyone believes, because the Michigan cannabis market is doing so well, that all of the companies that are in the business are making money,” she said. “That’s the furthest thing from the truth. … We don’t get to write off our legitimate business expenses on a federal level. … We are not yet as profitable as the numbers in our industry would see.”