Guest Commentary: Just one year after taking effect, it’s estimated Michigan’s adult-use cannabis market once fully matured will generate $3 billion in retail sales and create about 24,000 total jobs annually.
A debate over marijuana industry rules made unlikely bedfellows of the state’s new marijuana industry and conservative politicians and business groups that had opposed recreational pot.
Once a frontier town dominated by agriculture, Morenci now finds itself on a new frontier, with the scent of pot wafting through its streets. Despite reluctance from “conservative farm folks,” most support the financial boost the industry has brought.
More than a year after Pontiac voters approved medical marijuana businesses, investors are still waiting as politicians squabble. The delays could be a cautionary tale as retail recreational pot becomes legal in Michigan on Dec. 1.
Recreational marijuana sales are set to begin on Dec. 1, but shortages and few licensed shops mean options will be limited.
A supply shortage and regulatory hurdles means recreational pot sales aren’t likely until February or March. And two-thirds of all Michigan municipalities have already passed rules saying ‘not in our town.’
Fourteen towns heavily burdened by marijuana convictions voted to legalize recreational pot last year. But city officials put the brakes on opening a marijuana business, at least for now.
Shutting out the legal adult-use cannabis industry only drives revenue, talent and opportunity out of the state. The jobs associated with the cannabis industry will certainly still exist; they just won’t exist in Michigan if local bans persist.
The package would make hundreds of thousands more Michiganders eligible to set aside criminal records. Some Democrats question why they don’t automatically set aside lesser pot convictions, rather than requiring people to petition a court.
Under the legislation, all cannabis would need to be packaged with a warning against use during pregnancy.
The state’s marijuana regulatory industry announced rules to give license discounts for qualified residents in cities that were most heavily targeted for pot crimes. An industry official said the rules are well-meaning, but she doubts their impact.
After months of changing rules over when unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries must gain licensure or close, a court order Tuesday sides with the business owners and offers withering criticism of the state agency regulating marijuana.
A controversial licensing board ends, making way for a new agency overseeing a market with more questions than answers.
Licensing board member Don Bailey accuses Gov. Whitmer and Attorney General Nessel of putting political favors ahead of public safety and predicts the criminal element will thrive in marijuana industry.
A state commission tells lawmakers not to set a blood limit for stoned driving because science hasn’t caught up with legalization. Critics fear that’s ripe for abuse.
Minority communities have borne the brunt of marijuana arrests. Now that pot is legal in Michigan, the city is giving priority to residents in lower-income communities seeking to profit from licensed businesses.
Michigan’s medical marijuana licensing board has been criticized as too slow at approving licenses. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to abolish it and replace it with a new regulatory agency meant to speed up the process.
Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board member Don Bailey, a retired cop, has drawn the ire of industry advocates who accuse him of unfairly opposing licensing requests. He says he’s just watching out for public safety.
States that legalized recreational marijuana say low prices have pushed local producers to sell out-of-state on the black market.
The Democratic governor is signaling a less restrictive approach to pot licensing than under Gov. Rick Snyder. Critics say she will be held accountable for any downside to the state’s pot laws.