Some states start recreational marijuana sales slower than expected, such as California in 2018. Others take off right away, such as Nevada in 2017. Michigan marijuana sales, as it turns out, belongs in that second category.
Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to allow recreational – sometimes referred to as adult-use – marijuana sales the first weekend in December. By all accounts, Michigan marijuana sales started fast and kept rolling into the week, according to ABC 13 in Toledo, Ohio.
The station reported from Morenci, Michigan, which is about 35 miles west of Toledo. Workers at a dispensary called Michigan Supply reported customer lines that stretched out the door on Sunday night.
Somer Strahan, a budtender at the shop, said customers were happy to have access to marijuana that was legal, adding that customers also voiced relief they now have access to legal cannabis without “any kind of heavy metals” or “mold or anything in there that can hurt them.”
Michigan Joins Growing List of Legal States
Michigan voters approved legal recreational marijuana in the fall of 2018. State leaders have been writing regulations and setting up a Michigan marijuana sales legal system since then.
The state joins Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington in legalizing adult-use marijuana. Washington D.C. also has legalized recreational use.
Illinois legalized recreational marijuana last year through the state legislature. Sales are expected to begin there in January 2020.
Ann Arbor Is The Hot Spot
Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, has emerged as the hot spot for recreational marijuana as legal adult-use sales start. After just one day of sales on Dec. 1, three dispensaries in Ann Arbor reported earning a combined $221,000, according to multiple reports.
Also, Fox 17 in Grand Rapids reported that the state will collect $36,000 in taxes after just one day of sales.
The state has issued 18 licenses for recreational dispensaries. Until more adult-use stores are up and running, some dispensaries have been allowed to sell their medical marijuana as recreational marijuana.
About 80% of all cities and towns in Michigan have opted out of allowing recreational marijuana sales, according to the state. Detroit is among that group. However, city leaders are still working out a solution and may allow sales as soon as Jan. 31.
The Michigan law allows anyone over the age of 21 with a valid driver’s license or state identification to purchase marijuana. Adults can possess 2.5 ounces on their person. They can possess up to 10 ounces at home.
USA Today reports that Michigan already has more than 300,000 people signed up to use medical marijuana. However, about 1.5 million people could end up buying recreational marijuana, according to an estimate provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.