FRIDAY, April 10 — A recent study from researchers at Michigan State University predicts Michigan’s rapidly growing marijuana market will make a $7.8 billion economic impact on the state, raking in about $3 billion in annual retail sales and collecting nearly $500 million in taxes.
The study, published last month, estimates that once pot shops become more widely available in Michigan, the industry’s “total economic impact” — which includes several sectors of processing, growing, distribution and retail — could rise as high as $7.8 billion annually.
According to the study: Along the marijuana supply chain, Michigan is poised to employ about 13,500 workers once the market matures, with another 10,000 employees indirectly involved in the industry. About $500 million in sales and excise taxes could be collected yearly.
“It appears that the supply chain is maturing rapidly, with several well-funded vertically integrated firms already operating,” according to the study. Both indoor and outdoor growing operations are in place, but over time it appears that much of the production will be indoors.
Besides a global pandemic, other obstacles could remain a barrier to continued growth. The study also suggests that 1.) undeveloped marijuana testing systems and 2.) continued action by local governments to ban the sale of recreational pot could throw off the recent estimates.
“Marijuana needs to pass testing before it can be sold, and currently, it takes several weeks before growers and processors receive their results,” the study notes. “The slow rate of local approval and the backlog of testing has created a bottleneck in the supply chain.”
The study also points to that bottleneck as an explanation for high retail prices in Michigan.
Of course, that research was all published before COVID-19 was ever confirmed in the state.
Retail sales in Michigan surged as fears grew over the virus in mid-March, but plunged toward the end of the month. According to figures from last week, retail sales have since remained flat.
Marijuana Sales in Michigan
2/24 - 3/1
Recreational: $4.33 million
Medical: $6.91 million
3/2 - 3/8
Recreational: $5.05 million (+16.6%)
Medical: $7.22 million (+4.5%)
3/9 - 3/15
Recreational: $4.71 million (-6.7%)
Medical: $6.24 million (-13.6%)
3/16 - 3/22
Recreational: $5.78 million (+22.7%)
Medical: $7.93 million (+27.1%)
3/23 - 3/29
Recreational: $4.55 million (-21.3%)
Medical: $5.92 million (-25.3%)
3/30 - 4/05
Recreational: $4.80 million (-5.5%)
Medical: $6.19 million (+4.6%)