By LeeWEpstein

December 11, 2019

During the first eight days of legal weed sales, $1.6 million worth of recreational marijuana was sold in the five retail stores across the state.

And 3 of these stores either ran out of stock or had a limited supply of cannabis products.

Sales from December 1 to 8 totaled $1,629,007 and generated $162,900 in excise tax of 10% from the Crown and $107,514 in sales tax of 6%.

For example, SHA (state house fiscal agency) has estimated that once the recreational market becomes entirely operational after 2020, annual sales will approach $949 million, with $94.9 million from the 10% excise tax and $57 million from the 6% sales tax.

According to the proposal approved by voters in 2018, the first $20 million of the 10% excise tax, in the first two years of the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes, will be spent on research into the benefits of marijuana in treating diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The remaining excise tax will be distributed among payments to cities and counties that allow marijuana companies in their cities, the school assistance fund, and the transportation fund to improve roads. But the House of Representatives Tax Agency has projected that the total projected taxes – $97.5 million in 2020 and $163 million in 2023 – represent a small fraction of the government’s $60 billion budget.

The estimated 6% sales tax revenues – from $59 million in 2020 to $98 million in 2023 – are allocated to the School Assistance Fund, revenue sharing payments to cities, townships, villages and counties, and the general state fund.

It’s just the beginning !

It is difficult to say with any certainty how the first day of Michigan’s legal marijuana market, which has attracted more than 2,200 customers, compares to other legal states in the country. Colorado, the first state to legalize adult recreational marijuana, recorded sales of approximately $1 million on the first day of January 1, 2014. But this total came from 24 stores that had been approved by the State.

Michigan owned 3 retail stores in Ann Arbor – Greenstone Provisions, Arbor Wellness, and Exclusive Brands – that operated on the first day of the sale of marijuana for adult recreational use. Also, Michigan Supply and Provisioning in Morenci, just north of the Ohio border, opened for a few hours on the evening of December 1 and a fifth store – Lit Provisioning – opened Friday in Evart, northern Michigan.


Greenstone sold marijuana flowers on several consecutive days, Michigan Supply and Provision had an extremely restricted marijuana flower inventory and Lit sold products after the first couple days at 750 customers, each spending a median of $103.

“We are delighted that our first weekend of adult sales at the Evart Bed supply centers was so well received,” said Doug Hellyar, President and Chief Operating Officer of Lume Cannabis Company, which owns the Bed Store. “People came from all over the state, braved the cold and queued for hours to be among the first to buy recreational marijuana in northern Michigan.”

Legalization to where ?

These sales occurred just over a year after Michigan voters approved an election measure that legalized the use, possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana by a margin of 56 to 44 % . Michigan became the 10th state in the country to legalize the use of grass for adult recreational purposes.

The state began accepting applications for recreational marijuana licenses on November 1 and has since granted 21 licenses and pre-qualified 73 other applications. But more than 1,400 of the state’s 1,771 communities said they did not want marijuana businesses in their city, so finding a city that is suitable for legal weed cultivation was a challenge for businesses.

Many cities are waiting for local leaders to develop ordinances that will govern marijuana companies and others have said yes to marijuana, but they are in the process of deciding which companies will be allowed in.

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