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Metro Detroit recreational marijuana shops thin on the ground, Free Press reports

Local Government

By Karen Kidd | Jan 17, 2020

FreeImages - atroszko

As legal recreational weed sales in Michigan exceeded more than $10 million its first six weeks, Detroit residents 21 years and older have had a difficult time finding a dispensary where they can line up to make a purchase, a city newspaper reported.

"It's frustrating and completely unfair," Howell attorney Denise Pollicella was quoted in the Detroit Free Press news story published on Jan. 3.

Pollicella filed a lawsuit against the state and Detroit on behalf of six Detroit medical marijuana dispensaries applied for and were pre-qualified to receive a recreational license but still awaited a state decision when the story was published.

By then, sales were underway in Ann Arbor, Bay County, Morenci, Evart, Negaunee and in other towns but not a dispensary in metro Detroit was selling recreational marijuana, according to the news story.

The more than $10 million in recreational weed sales in the first six weeks of legalization in the state should bring in more than $1.6 million in revenues from Michigan's 10 percent excise tax and 6 percent sales tax, the Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week

As of this week, 16 marijuana retail shops are servicing the market in Michigan while a total of 35 shops have been licensed by the state and shops are awaiting a buildup of supply to meet post-prohibition, pent-up demand before opening their doors, the Free Press reported.

Michigan, which legalized medical marijuana in 2008, became the 13th state in the U.S. to legalize the recreational variety when voters in the state passed Proposal 1 in November 2018 to allow marijuana use and possession for anyone 21 and older. State residents also are now allowed to grow up to 12 plants in their home for personal use.

More than 1,400 communities in Michigan have opted out of recreation marijuana sales.

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