Michigan regulators will start taking recreational marijuana business applications on Nov. 1, but sales aren’t expected to begin until March or April at the earliest.
There are a number of factors delaying the launch, according to the Detroit Free Press, including:
- The state is concerned about a medical cannabis shortage and hasn’t yet decided if existing MMJ license holders may transfer their flower and other products to the rec market.
- Even if some applications are approved quickly, it still takes several months to grow and harvest a cannabis crop.
“It’s incumbent upon us to ensure that there’s access for medical patients through the medical marijuana facilities,” Andrew Brisbo, director of the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency, told the Free Press.
“So I would err on the side of caution and ensuring better access to their needs instead of moving products into the broader adult-use market.”
Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, told Michigan Public Radio that she’s not expecting a rush of businesses to apply on Nov. 1 for rec retail licenses because of the lack of product supply on the MMJ market right now.
That shortage will just become more pronounced if rec sales are launched before supply is in balance with demand, she indicated.
There’s no statewide caps on adult-use licenses, but municipalities can restrict the number, and a large percentage so far have decided to ban sales.
Marijuana Business Daily projects Michigan could generate $1.4 billion-$1.7 billion in annual sales within several years of the rec market launch.
Michigan cannabis regulators recently more than doubled the number of communities eligible for social equity assistance from 19 to 41.
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