- Michigan-grown green raked in the green in October.
When we think of October, the colors orange and black come to mind. However, according to the latest adult-use marijuana sales, Michigan saw green last month — lots of green.
There's nothing scarier than running out of weed, but thankfully Michigan has plenty to go around, so much, in fact, that the state reported record high adult-use cannabis sales, breaking a record set in July (and before that, June). In other words, the demand for cannabis is not stopping. And why would it? Weed is fucking great.
Anyway, according to Andrew Brisbo, the executive director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, Michigan reported $128,382,044.69 (nice) in overall sales in October, topping July's sales by about $56,000. The agency also reports that the price for recreational-use flower, an average of $203.81 per ounce, decreased by 6.5% when compared to July's average retail price.
"For context," Brisbo wrote on Twitter, "in October 2020, there was $59.7 million in sales in Michigan’s adult-use retail market (at an average retail flower price of $399.74)."
Recent data found that sales in several states with legal weed, namely Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, "have increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in previous two years."
"Findings show a general increase in cannabis sales following stay-at-home orders issued in AK, CO, OR, and WA in late March 2020," according to the International Journal of Drug Policy. “In all four states, those increases were greater than the percent increases observed in the preceding two years."
Earlier this year, in March, the Michigan Department of Treasury distributed its first adult-use payments, totaling nearly $10 million, to more than 100 municipalities and counties as a part of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.
OK — so, it's obvious that Michigan is making bank through recreational and medical marijuana sales, which haven't slowed since the first retail locations opened in 2019. The question is, how do these dispensaries, growers, and processing facilities handle money when it still remains illegal on the federal level, meaning banks and credit unions are prohibited from doing business with canna-businesses under the Controlled Substances Act?
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a letter along with 23 U.S. governors calling on Congress to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. If passed, the legislation would "remove legal limitations and allow financial institutions to bank with state-licensed cannabis businesses" throughout the 37 states that currently have recreational and/or medical marijuana programs.
According to the letter, medical and recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. were estimated to reach somewhere near $17.5 billion, almost all of which was from cash sales.
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