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Michigan Cannabis Market Soars, Establishing Multi-Billion Dollar Sector

Michigan’s cannabis industry has grown into a giant economic force. In 2022, Michigan witnessed a staggering $2.03 billion in recreational marijuana sales. On the other hand, medical cannabis, which requires a state-issued medical marijuana card, raked in an additional $256 million. These figures were reported by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA), the state’s authority responsible for moderating cannabis activities

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This year, the trend continues, with recreational sales reaching $1.6 billion as of July 2023. July also marks a record high in recreational cannabis sales with  $270,603,217 in sales. 

The story isn’t quite the same for medical cannabis sales which have trended downward since a $11 million January. By July, reported medical cannabis sales dropped as low as $6.1 million, according to CRA data. This puts the total medical cannabis sales for 2023 at around $59 million as of July.

Who Gets A Cut Of Michigan’s Flourishing Industry?

Both recreational and medical cannabis are subject to a 6% state sales tax. Recreational marijuana sales also carry an additional 10 percent excise tax for a total of 16.6 percent in taxes at the register. Here’s how Michigan allocates these tax revenues:

  • 15 percent to municipalities with cannabis retailers
  • 15 percent to counties containing those municipalities
  • 35 percent to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education
  • 35 percent to the Michigan Transportation Fund

In the fiscal year 2022, Michigan generated $59,513,709 in tax revenue. It distributed $29,756,854, half of this sum, to eligible cities, villages, and townships. The other half went to other eligible counties

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In the tri-county area, Oakland County, with 22 licensed retailers, received the highest tax revenue share at $1,140,506. Wayne County closely followed with $1,036,824 in tax revenue from its 20 licensed retailers and Macomb County with $725,776 from its 14 licensed retailers.

As of July 31, 2023, the CRA reports that 171 municipalities have opted in for medical cannabis facilities.  Meanwhile, a staggering 2,080 opted in for recreational cannabis facilities.

Michigan vs. California: The Battle of the Two Giant Cannabis Markets

As mentioned earlier, Michigan raked in a record-breaking $276 million in cannabis sales in the month of July. That’s equivalent to about $8.9 million each day, with a whopping $270 million stemming from recreational sales alone.

Suppose we project this pace over the next year. In that case, the industry is poised to hit an impressive $3.3 billion in sales. To put it into perspective, Michigan’s total sales in 2022 reached $2.3 billion. However, with sales and prices on the rise and more than 30 more retail shops set to open in Detroit, it’s highly likely that the final figure will surpass this estimate.

These massive projections put Michigan in the same league as California, the largest cannabis market in the U.S. — at least on a per capita basis. In 2022,  California brought in $5.3 billion in cannabis sales with the average resident buying $135 of cannabis. Michigan’s 2.3 billion in 2022 sales mean the average resident spent about $229 on cannabis!  

Michigan’s impressive cannabis market profits are due, in large part to its unique regulatory policies. The state opted for an open-door policy with accessible licenses, lower taxes than many other states, and fewer restrictive rules that might deter entrepreneurs. 

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