A wall of tobacco products inside of a smoke shop selling cigarettes, cigars, and rolling tobacco.

Anne-Sophie

Campaign Funding for Michigan Legalization Led by Tobacco Store Chain

Top donors to the campaign to legalize recreational cannabis in Michigan include a tobacco store chain and the Marijuana Policy Project, the Detroit Free Press reports. The Troy-based Smokers Outlet Management is the leading money donor, pumping $150,000 into the campaign according to the report. The company owns 68 Wild Bill’s Tobacco shops throughout the state, with plans to open a chain of legal cannabis shops called Oasis Wellness Center.

While the MPP has donated $58,161, much of their donations to the Coalition to Regulation Marijuana like Alcohol have come in the form of staff and technical assistance to the campaign. According to the report, the organization has donated staff time, legal research, airline tickets, and hotel expenses to the campaign.

In all, the campaign has raised $368,320 in cash.

Josh Hovey, spokesperson for the Coalition, said much of those funds will be used to combat the prohibition campaigns they expect to emerge that will combat legalization.

“We’re fully expecting there to be an opposition campaign — and one that is equally well-funded,” Hovey said in the report.

Hovey indicated that, based on their latest report, 44 percent of the campaign’s contributions were for $250 or less. He anticipates the campaign will have to raise “a million and a half dollars just to get on the ballot,” and estimates the campaign will cost a total of $8 million.

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