July 16, 2024

Federal Proposals Support Michigan Marijuana Sales – 2023

Michigan Marijuana – A fast-growing Michigan marijuana market is poised to get even stronger if the federal government supports banking transactions. The proposed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021′

Michigan voters accepted the legalization of the recreational use of Marihuana for adults 21 years and older. The resulting regulation, known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA), executes an excise tax of 10% on retail Marihuana sales and a 6% sales tax.

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the SAFE Banking Act. But it is stalled in the Senate. If it were to get approved, customers could use debit cards and credit cards to pay for their purchases.

With a current cash-only transaction platform, dispensaries run significant risks of being targeted by criminal activity. So do their customers.

The legislation seeks to stop the federal government from penalizing banks for processing transactions related to the sale of marijuana and cannabis products. If it were to become law, that would help Michigan to crack the $2 billion mark for combined marijuana sales as soon as this year.

Strong Sales Growth for Michigan Marijuana

Michigan posted about $1.3 billion in recreational marijuana sales in 2021 and is poised to beat that mark this year. Licensed marijuana dispensaries also reported nearly $500 million in sales.

The $1.8 billion in combined Michigan marijuana sales is nearly double the almost $1 billion in sales posted in 2020. The state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency says recreational and medical sales will continue to rise next year.

Soon, the state is bound to surpass the $2 billion mark in annual recreational and medical marijuana sales. More dispensaries are opening, and customers soon might be able to use electronic transactions.

That $2 billion mark likely will get beaten sooner than anticipated. Reducing the amount of cash needed to complete transactions would assure it.

Fast Start for Growing Market

Michigan voters in November 2018 voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana sales. The first dispensaries opened about a year later. So the Michigan marijuana market is very new.

Michigan has had legal medical marijuana laws in effect since 2008. But there were no dispensaries. Instead, patients need to obtain a medical prescription and either grow their own or find a caregiver who does.

A caregiver is an unlicensed and unregulated but legal supplier of medical marijuana. As long as the caregiver reports income, pays taxes, and abides by the state’s limitations on growing plants, everything is legal.

State Might Lower Legal Thresholds for Caregivers

With dispensaries now open and increasing in number, the need for caregivers is lessening. That might be part of the reason state lawmakers are considering reducing the number of plants caregivers could grow and how much product they could have on hand.

Caregivers currently can grow and maintain 72 cannabis plants. The maximum amount of harvested product is 15 ounces. Six dozen plants and nearly a pound of marijuana on hand make it possible for caregivers to grow and supply a wider variety of legal marijuana.

But a proposed change in the law would reduce those numbers greatly. Caregivers would be limited to a dozen plants and just 5 ounces of product at any given time. That is a significant reduction in their ability to operate legally.

The Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association supports the proposed changes. That should not be surprising, since caregivers represent the only legal competition to licensed manufacturing operations.

Officials for the manufacturers’ association say the products sold by caregivers are unregulated, untested, and do not generate tax revenue. They say the market is completely underground and might not provide safe medicinal products for patients.

If the change goes through, the caregiver market would remain essentially unregulated. But it could help to maintain more affordable resources for medical marijuana patients.

Maximum Limits to Remain the Same

Michigan’s marijuana laws enable recreational and medical users to purchase and possess relatively generous amounts of flower and concentrates. They also can cultivate up to a dozen cannabis plants inside their homes.

Recreational users in Michigan can have up to 10 ounces of cultivated cannabis inside their homes and up to 2.5 ounces in their possession while away from home. They also can have up to 15 grams of concentrates.

Medical marijuana users with valid prescriptions can have up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and cannabis products. That includes concentrates.

Medical marijuana users also can have up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles in solid form and 7 grams of infused products in a gaseous state. They also can have up to 36 fluid ounces of marijuana-infused drinks.

There is no time limit on the amounts that could be bought. If your purchase of flower or concentrates does not push you over the legal limits, you could purchase products every day.

With such a strong start to its legal marijuana market, some legal adjustments at the state and federal levels could finely tune the cannabis industry in Michigan. Its already impressive market growth is bound to continue with more dispensaries and improved products leading the way.

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