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40+ recreational marijuana shops licensed in first 2 months of legal sales in Michigan 

click to enlarge Herbology in River Rouge. - PHLORA.CO
  • Herbology in River Rouge.

Recreational marijuana dispensaries in Michigan have been legal for two months now, ringing up $17.7 million in sales and $2.9 million in new taxes.

From Dec. 1 to Feb. 2, the state approved licenses for 43 recreational pot dispensaries, 18 growers, seven processors, and three event organizers, according to the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

The first two months have been marked by supply shortages and long lines as growers scramble to catch up with the fierce demand.

So far, only four recreational cannabis dispensaries have been approved to open in metro Detroit. Of those, only two have opened so far: Herbology and 1st Quality Medz, both in River Rouge.

“The demand has been huge; we have lines daily,” Tarek Jawad, owner of Herbology Cannabis Co., tells Metro Times. “Supply is still slim, but I am still very, very well stocked.”

In the next 10 days, Herbology plans to offer online orders and in-store pickups so customers can avoid long lines.

The other two dispensaries to receive a license to sell recreational marijuana in metro Detroit are Greenhouse of Walled Lake in Oakland County and the Flower Bowl in Inkster. Both could open in the next month. At Greenhouse of Walled Lake, recreational sales have been delayed “due to the regulations surrounding it,” according to the dispensary’s voice mail message.

In Detroit, the largest city in the state, recreational marijuana dispensaries have been temporarily banned while city council members try to establish rules to allow more Detroiters to become a part of the industry. But the delay has hurt some Detroiters who have been prevented from opening recreational dispensaries because of the ban. Councilman James Tate, who is leading the effort, has said he’s in no rush to legalize recreational dispensaries, despite the promise of new taxes for the cash-strapped city.

About 80% of the state's cities, towns, and townships have passed laws prohibiting recreational pot dispensaries from opening within their borders. In Wayne County, 33 communities have imposed bans.

Unlike medicinal cannabis, recreational marijuana has a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax. Excise tax revenue goes to local governments, schools, and roads. Recreational marijuana sales are expected to top $150 million in sales and excise taxes in the 2020-21 fiscal budget, which begins in October, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. By 2022-23, the agency projects the tax revenues will reach $262 million.

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January 20, 2020

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