Legal Marijuana Purchases In Michigan Spiked In March, Reaching A New Record High

posted MarijuanaMoment

Legal sales of marijuana in Michigan tallied a new monthly record in March, according to recently released data from state cannabis regulators, with retailers recording nearly $289 million in purchases during the month. Sales of medical marijuana, however, continued to decline.

Adult-use marijuana purchases in Michigan totaled $286.8 million during March 2024, accounting for 99 percent of all receipts for the month. By category, flower made up the bulk of sales, at $131.4 million, followed by vape cartridges ($54.4 million), inhalable concentrates ($33.9 million) and infused edibles ($26.3 million).

As of the end of March, the state had 785 active retailer licenses.

Medical marijuana sales for March came in at $2.1 million, with 213 active “provisioning center” licenses, according to the Cannabis Regulatory Agency reported.

March’s new overall and adult-use sales figures beat previous records set in December, when Michigan was among a number of states that saw a surge of sales to close out 2023. The state saw more than $3 billion in legal sales for the year.

Earlier this year, state officials announced they’d send some of the recent state tax revenue from marijuana sales to fund schools, cities and transportation, distributing a new batch of more than $290 million.

Though Michigan and most other states with legal adult-use cannabis markets have seen declines in medical marijuana patient enrollment, the number of registered cannabis patients nationwide has nevertheless been increasing in recent years, according to a recent federally funded study by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the University of Michigan.

Between 2020 and 2022, the number of enrolled medical marijuana patients in the U.S. increased by a third (33.3 percent). All told, the country had more than 4.1 million registered patients in 2022, up from about 3.1 million in 2020.

Only two of 15 jurisdictions with legal adult-use marijuana markets, however, saw patient registrations rise during the study period: Massachusetts and Maine. All others saw enrollment fall.

Meanwhile in Michigan, state officials said last November that tax revenue from legal marijuana grew by 49 percent compared to the previous year, surpassing the amount of revenue made from alcohol sales. Marijuana sales incur a 10 percent excise tax—among the lowest rates in the nation—as well as a 6 percent state sales tax.

“The tax funding for municipalities and counties that comes from the marijuana excise tax is a very important benefit of the legal cannabis industry in Michigan,” Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) Executive Director Brian Hanna said. “The CRA is committed to doing our part in supporting our licensees so that they can continue to grow the local economy throughout the state with good-paying jobs and increased revenues for local government budgets.”

Late last year, CRA announced the launch of a new social equity grant program that will award $1 million to eligible marijuana businesses for education, business needs or community reinvestment.

Separately, a change approved last July by the state Civil Service Commission took effect in October to end pre-employment marijuana testing for most government employees. The shift also gave people who’ve already been penalized over positive THC tests an opportunity to have the sanction retroactively rescinded.

Also in October, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a pair of bills into law to allow state-licensed marijuana businesses to conduct trade with tribal cannabis entities. Both took effect immediately.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce said earlier this year that a rash of recent break-ins at legal marijuana retailers in the state underscores the need for federal cannabis banking reform, which the group says would reduce the risks of theft and fraud that stem from the industry’s current reliance on cash.

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