Michigan’s adult-use cannabis market is opening to consumers on Sunday, December 1, about one year after voters in the state opted in favor of a statewide cannabis legalization ballot initiative.
Under the new market’s rules, individuals who are 21 or older will be allowed to purchase up to two and a half ounces of cannabis flower products from licensed dispensaries. Sales will be subjected to a 10 percent excise tax and the existing 6 percent sales tax. Budget planners in the state predict the industry could surpass $1 billion in sales by the fiscal year 2021 and $1.5 billion by 2023; early tax returns, meanwhile, could reach $223 million.
The first $20 million for the first two years will be dedicated to research into cannabis’ medicinal properties. Of the remaining tax dollars, 15 percent will go to municipalities who participate in the adult-use industry and 15 percent will go to participating counties — these allotments will be broken down proportionately based on a given region’s number of licensed operators. Lastly, 35 percent will go to the School Aid Fund and 35 percent will go to the Michigan Transportation Fund to be used on road and bridge repair.
“Everything in this space is new, so I don’t know if anyone can sit back and say it was easily predicted how we’d end up where we are but I think everyone is pleasantly surprised. We’ve already begun to see waves of hiring by cannabis businesses looking to fill these good-paying jobs, which will have a major impact on communities as these workers have money to spend on goods and services at their local small businesses.”” — Marijuana Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo, via MLive.com
The tax predictions come despite the fact that a large majority of Michigan municipalities — about 1,400 of the state’s 1,773 cities and towns — have passed bans on the adult-use industry, including Detroit.
“I’ve been somewhat surprised with municipal participation,” Brisbo told MLive. “I think we always assumed there would be a lot of municipal opt-outs, based on the way the ballot initiative is written, but I think it’s been somewhat surprising that even municipalities that allow for medicinal use haven’t necessarily been allowing for the adult use side of things.”