March Marks New High for Cannabis Sales in Michigan

Michigan collected a combined total of $289 million in sales in March, split between $286.8 in adult-use cannabis and $2.1 million in medical cannabis.

By
Nicole Potter

The newest set of data released by the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) shows that the state has once again set a new record for adult-use cannabis sales.

According to the CRA, the state collected $286.8 million in adult-use cannabis sales in March, which made up for 99% of all sales. In terms of product popularity, flower still reigns supreme with $131.4 million in sales. A total of $54.4 million was sold in vape cartridges, as well as $33.9 million in inhalable concentrates, and finally edibles at $26.3 million.

The CRA splits Michigan up into five distinct regions: upper lower/upper peninsula (the region at the top of the state sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and also the northern portion of land that borders Canada), mid lower (sometimes referred to as Central Michigan), southwest (containing cities such as Kalamazoo and Lansing), east/southeast (which includes cities such as Ann Arbor but spans all of eastern Michigan with the exclusion of the Detroit area), and Wayne (i.e. Wayne County, which mainly covers Detroit).

Among these regions, the east/southeast region collected the most in total adult-use cannabis sales with $128,929,767, followed by $79,432,048 in the southwest region, $31,845,920 in Wayne, $29,373,053 in upper lower/upper peninsula, and lastly, $17,209,468 in the mid lower area.

In total medical cannabis sales, the southwest area led with $141,535, followed by Wayne with $945,992, east/southeast with $809,515, upper lower/upper peninsula with $81,273, and finally mid lower with $79,695.

The state has 785 licensed retailers operating, in addition to 260 processors, eight Class A cultivators, 112 Class B cultivators, and 845 Class C cultivators.

Despite record-breaking adult-use sales, medical cannabis continues to decline, and the state only collected $2.1 million sold at 213 provisioning centers. As of March 2024, Michigan has a total of 107,040 medical cannabis cardholders, 8,302 caregivers, and 191 physicians in total. The state received and approved 2,636 initial applications for medical cannabis cards, alongside 1,158 approved renewals. Out of the 27 medical conditions approved to be treated with medical cannabis, the highest percentage by far is chronic pain, which affects 62.95% of all approved patients. Other significant percentages above one percent includes patients who suffer from severe and chronic pain (48.82%), arthritis (21.98%), post-traumatic stress disorder (8.32%), muscle spasms (6.83%), severe nausea (5.99%), cancer (2.83%), inflammatory bowel disease (1.33%), and glaucoma (1.13%).

The CRA also reported that the Marijuana and Tobacco Investigation Section (MTIS), along with the Michigan State Police, worked together to conduct 37 seizures of illegal cannabis products. This resulted in the “confiscation of 14,929 plants, 11,165 pounds of flower, and 3,133 units of marijuana product.”

The most recent record in Michigan’s March 2024 sales topples the previous record set in December 2023. Tallied numbers for the entirety of 2023 show that the state surpassed $3 billion.

At the end of February, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced how adult-use cannabis tax revenue funds will be granted through its Marihuana Regulation Fund. The money was acquired with taxes from the state’s 737 licensees during FY 2023, with a total of $290.3 million. “This week, many Michigan municipalities and counties will begin seeing their share of adult-use marijuana payments appear in their banking accounts,” said State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks. “Through a partnership, the dollars received from the adult-use marijuana taxes and fees are distributed to our participating communities. These dollars may be spent how our local units deem fit to their needs.”

The agency stated that 269 of the state’s municipalities would be receiving a portion of $87 million (approximately $59,000 for every licensed retail store or microbusiness in its jurisdiction), while $101.6 million would be granted toward education and an additional $101.6 toward transportation. “The tax funding for municipalities and counties that comes from the marijuana excise tax is a very important benefit of the legal cannabis industry in Michigan,” CRA Executive Director Brian Hanna said. “The CRA is committed to doing our part in supporting our licensees so that they can continue to grow the local economy throughout the state with good-paying jobs and increased revenues for local government budgets.”

Michigan wasn’t the only state to break a few records last year. Connecticut’s monthly cannabis sales increased every month through December for a total of $274 million since sales began in January 2023. Maryland also saw an increase month-to-month in 2023 as well.

Adult-use cannabis in Illinois just passed the four-year mark, and 2023 was a particularly strong year for the state’s sales. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation stated that total sales amounted to $1.2 billion last year, with 42 million items sold, which is a 15% increase from numbers in 2022 according to CBS News. “The legalization of adult use cannabis was the start of uplifting the communities most impacted by the failed war on drugs,” Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton said last year. “The benefits from these sales will be used to continue investing in our economic growth in historically disinvested populations.”

Nicole Potter

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