By December 2020, Michigan had experienced the highest sales growth of any legal cannabis market in the United States, realizing a 146% growth in gross merchandise value. This is according to data available from LeafLink, a wholesale cannabis marketplace. This is impressive growth considering that the sales of recreational cannabis began a little over 12 months ago.
You can view the report here.
In December 2019, Michigan was the tenth U.S. state to allow adult-use pot. Less than a year later, the state has surpassed Nevada to become a top-five high sales state for cannabis. Plus, Michigan is now the second-fastest-growing new recreational market (after California) in the country. Expect this trend to grow by leaps, and it shows no signs of taking a slow walk.
The influx of new recreational marijuana businesses in Michigan is because of several factors.
Medical Marijuana Paved the Way
The success of the recreational marijuana industry is vastly due to the existing medical marijuana infrastructure. First legalized in 2008, the state already had a large customer base that was aching for market growth.
Some of the success is also due to the efforts of state regulators. Officials in the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) are now more open to receiving feedback from businesses in the industry compared to officials in other states. Currently, the MRA has made over 40 changes to the initial regulations that prioritize safety and public health and updating testing regulations. All these changes now make it easier for businesses and companies to operate and come up with new products.
More Options for Marijuana Consumption
While different cannabis products on the market have similar psychoactive properties and chemicals, each has its consumption method. Users of medical marijuana can safely consume safely and correctly using a variety of methods. These include:
- Inhaling the vapor or smoke from a dried cannabis flower
- Through cannabis-infused edibles such as cookies, brownies, honey, cooking oils, and hot sauce
- Concentrates that are less harsh on the throat and lungs
- Topicals in the form of salves, bath bombs, lotions, creams, and much more
From March 2021, the MRA is doing away with the requirement that recreational marijuana applicants must have a medical marijuana business license. This stipulation limited access to the state’s recreational market while ensuring a specific level of retail and supply options for medical marijuana customers.
Introducing new regulations will drive the recreational marijuana industry to a $1.5 billion sales level by September 2021. This means an increase of almost $240 million in the state’s coffers in tax revenue. More participants in the market increase the tax cut that includes 6% for sales and 10% for excise tax.
Customers in rural areas have better access to recreational marijuana thanks to improved delivery options. Increasing business participation in the recreational marijuana industry helps reduce consumer reliance on illegal market products.
However, with increased operators, one would expect to see a drop in prices. The market is yet to meet the demands, which has led to an increase in prices at the retail level. Medical marijuana customers can access low-price marijuana since they do not pay for excise tax—but prices are expected to drop for recreational, adult-use customers soon.