Michigan agency predicts $700M medical marijuana market

A Michigan Senate agency forecasts that the state’s medical marijuana market could exceed $711 million annually if the prices and consumer habits are similar to those in Colorado’s medical marijuana market.

The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency, a nonpartisan group created to provide legislative analysis and fiscal forecasts to the state senate, estimates there are 204,000 patients in the state, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.

In September, Michigan lawmakers approved a set of sweeping regulations for the state’s sizable medical marijuana industry, paving the way for a statewide oversight and licensing system for MMJ businesses.

Under new regulations that go into effect in December, Michigan marijuana businesses will face a 3% excise tax and possibly a 6% sales tax. They also will face state and local licensing fees.

The Senate agency’s patient count is slightly higher than the estimate contained in the 2016 Marijuana Business Daily Fact Book, which puts the number at 179,000 individuals in Michigan. Dispensary sales this year are expected to range from $140 million to $180 million, which is down from last year’s estimated sales of $180 million-$220,000.

This year’s expected decline in sales comes as the number of dispensaries has been shrinking in places. In Detroit, local authorities have been shuttering dispensaries that fail to comply with the city’s zoning ordinance.