Michigan communities that have gotten in on the state’s new adult-use cannabis market will get to split their share of the spoils next week.
The state’s Department of Treasury said Thursday that “more than $42.2 million will be distributed among 163 municipalities and counties as a part of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.”
“Next week, 62 cities, 15 villages, 33 townships and 53 counties will be receiving payments from the Marihuana Regulation Fund. For the state of Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year, this means each eligible municipality and county will receive more than $56,400 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness located within its jurisdiction,” the agency said in a press release.
Voters in Michigan legalized recreational cannabis use for adults in 2018, and sales begun a year later. But a number of communities throughout the Wolverine State opted out of having recreational marijuana stores within their jurisdictions.
According to the Detroit Free Press, a “majority of communities chose not to allow those businesses at the time but kept open the possibility of opting in at a future date.”
The list of opt-outs includes Detroit, where the city council was scheduled to vote on a recreational pot ordinance on Tuesday. That vote “was delayed due to proposed amendments and an hour-long closed-door litigation discussion with city attorneys,” according to Michigan Radio. According to the station, city officials “said another session would be needed to allow for public comment before they could vote on the proposed amended ordinance.” That meeting is slated for April 5.
Millions From the Cannabis Industry to Fund Local Programs
Michigan State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said Thursday that the department will distribute the $42.2 million “as soon as practical to eligible local units of government.”
She added that the “doubling of this year’s payment amounts will have a larger impact on local government budgets.”
In addition to the $42.2 million going out to municipalities and counties, the Department of Treasury said that “$49.3 million was sent to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education and another $49.3 million to the Michigan Transportation Fund.”
In the nearly three years since adult-use pot sales began there, Michigan’s recreational program has become a success story.
More than “$1.1 billion in adult-use marijuana sales was reported for fiscal year 2021,” according to the department.
The communities that opted in will receive “more than $111 million was collected from the 10% adult-use marijuana excise tax,” the Department of Treasury said on Thursday, with a total of “$172 million available for distribution from the fund.”
“It’s rewarding to see that the agency’s balanced regulatory approach is effectively protecting consumers while still allowing Michigan businesses to grow and thrive,” said Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency. “The funding provided directly to local governments – and the thousands of jobs created across the state – show that Michigan is leading the way in the cannabis industry.”
Ten years before voters in Michigan legalized recreational pot, the state gave the green light to medical cannabis.
Last month, the state said it was consolidating “the regulatory bodies within [Michigan] that oversee cannabis and hemp processing, distribution, and sale to improve efficiency.”
Those bodies have now been folded into the newly renamed Cannabis Regulatory Agency.
The consolidation, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at the time, “will help us continue growing our economy and creating jobs.”
“And to be blunt – safe, legal cannabis entrepreneurship, farming, and consumption helps us put Michiganders first by directing the large windfall of tax revenue from this new industry to make bigger, bolder investments in local schools, roads, and first responders,” Whitmer said.