Adult Cannabis Markets in Michigan, Illinois, and Massachusetts Show Huge Potential

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Recreational marijuana officially lit in Michigan

On Dec. 1, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to allow recreational marijuana sales.

On the first day of sales, the state’s three licensed retail marijuana shops generated more than $200,000 in cannabis sales and an estimated $36,000 in tax revenue.

“The consumer demand was off the charts,” said Rick Thompson, who serves on the Michigan NORML board. “Each of the provisioning centers had lines out the door and around the block. Most had police officers on hand to ensure people were safe from traffic.”

Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2018. Sales were originally slated to begin Jan. 1, 2020, but the state moved up the date in an effort to reduce black market sales.

1,400 of Michigan’s 1,800 cities and townships do not allow marijuana sales. Detroit has delayed recreational sales until Jan. 31.

Adults 21 and older can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of flower, including up to 15 grams of concentrate.

Marijuana Industry Daily projected that marijuana sales in Michigan are expected to reach $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion per year when the market reaches maturity.


Illinois to ring in the new year with legal adult-use cannabis

Jan. 1, 2020, will mark the beginning of more than just a new decade in Illinois as the state’s first recreational marijuana dispensaries are set to open on New Year’s Day.

Illinois was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through the state legislature rather than through a voter-approved ballot initiative.

“As the first state in the nation to fully legalize adult-use cannabis through the legislative process, Illinois exemplifies the best of democracy—a bipartisan and deep commitment to better the lives of all of our people,” Pritzker said. “Legalization of adult-use cannabis brings an important and overdue change to our state, and it’s the right thing to do.”

In June, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a bill that allows adults 21 and older to possess and purchase cannabis. In addition to legalizing adult-use cannabis, the new law includes provisions to expunging prior marijuana convictions and the creation of social equity programs.

Recreational marijuana will have a graduated tax rate according to the THC content:

  • Flower and cannabis-infused products with less than 35% THC will be taxed at 10% of the purchase price
  • Cannabis-infused products and edibles with more than 35% THC will be taxed at 20% of the purchase price
  • Flower with more than 35% THC will be taxed at 25% of the purchase price

“The most historic aspect of this is not just that it legalizes cannabis for adults but rather the extraordinary efforts it takes to reduce the harm caused by the failed war on marijuana and the communities it hurt the most,” said state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D).

Illinois is the eleventh state to legalize recreational cannabis.


Massachusetts sells $400 million in marijuana during first year of recreational sales

During its first year of legal recreational marijuana, Massachusetts raked in nearly $400 million in sales despite having only 36 licensed retail shops.

For comparison, during the first year of its recreational marijuana market, sales in Colorado amounted to $300 million with 306 licensed retailers.

Data released from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) shows that daily sales regularly exceed $1 million, and often exceed $2 million. At its current pace, adult-use sales could exceed $1 billion by 2021.

The lack of marijuana dispensaries in the state is something CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman says the Commission is planning to address.

“I have no expectation there will be a retail store on every corner, but we have a lot more geographic expansion to do,” Hoffman said. “That’s the biggest part of our job.”

The CCC has approved an additional 53 provisional licenses for cannabis retailers, with another 166 applications pending.