Michigan is yet another state that legalized adult-use marijuana sales, and those transactions have brought in bank. Legal sales started December 1, and in that first month, the state tallied almost $6.5 million in sales. The industry is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace in 2020 as more retail licenses are issued.
The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MMRA) issued 54 recreational marijuana business licenses by January 2. That tally includes 26 retail permits. That’s almost double the licenses than the MMRA initially predicted, and dozens more are expected to join the fray.
Now let’s talk taxes. From the $6.5 million in sales, Michigan’s cut exceeds $1 million, between excise and sales taxes. That doesn’t count the application fees, which generated at least another $1 million, and another $1.4 million in licensing fees once licensing once applications were approved. Michigan’s application fee is $6,000, and that standard fee applies to both recreational and medical marijuana applications.
The license and application fees paid to the MMRA in the initial stages will be used to repay a $10 million general fund loan the agency received (and used) in March 2019 for start-up costs. Those fees will also fund future agency expenses. The voters passed the law in 2018, and the language stipulates that the first $20 million collected in excise taxes over the first two years of the program will go toward funding medical marijuana research. The remaining funds allocated (15%) are proportionate to the number of micro-businesses and retailers within their respective boundaries.
Another 15% of funds go to counties, again in proportion to the total number of micro-businesses and retailers. The remaining 70% of funds are split evenly and goes to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education and the Michigan Transportation Fund for bridge and road repair.
The market is expected to continue to grow exponentially. State budget officials believe the recreational cannabis marketplace will reach $1.5 billion in annual sales by the end of 2021. Not too shabby for an industry in its infant stages.
Possibly attributed to the predicted growth? Delivery. Not only can folks use services like InstaCart of GrubHub, medical and recreational pot users will soon have the ability to order cannabis with delivery to their front door. In fact, Nature’s ReLeaf, a marijuana dispensary, is one of three businesses okayed by the state to deliver the product to customers. The service will be available for both medical and recreational marijuana consumers in 17 Detroit metro area communities. Customers can place orders online and must show ID at the time of delivery to prove they are at least 21 years old.