Michigan Merges Marijuana Agencies

On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that she was consolidating the regulatory bodies within the State of Michigan that oversee cannabis and hemp processing, distribution, and sale to improve efficiency. The governor’s statement said that these administrative changes would help the state continue growing the hemp and marijuana economy, create jobs, and invest in local communities.

Currently, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) regulates hemp, while the Marijuana Regulatory Agency regulates marijuana. Governor Whitmer‘s Executive Order 2022-1 renames the Marijuana Regulatory Agency as the Cannabis Regulatory Agency and tasks it with regulating the processing, distribution, and sale of both hemp and marijuana going forward. Oversight of hemp cultivation will remain with MDARD. This restructuring will allow for a more effective, efficient administration and enforcement of Michigan laws regulating cannabis in all its forms. The executive order was filed with the legislature and will take effect in 60 days.

 “Consolidating multiple government functions into the newly named Cannabis Regulatory Agency will help us continue growing our economy and creating jobs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “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.” 

Record Sales

In January, Andrew Brisbo Executive Director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that December 2021 sales numbers marked another new high for the adult-use industry with just over $135 million in sales. Medical was nearly $33 million. He gave the following final 2021 sales numbers:

Adult-use = $1,311,951,737
Medical = $481,225,540
Total = $1,793,177,278

Brisbo also said at the time, “It’s good to note that the new high is not because of increasing prices. In fact, prices in medical and adult-use continue to drop, month over month, and year over year.”

Dec 2020: adult use was $350/oz & medical was $265/oz.

Dec 2021: adult-use at $185/oz & medical at $175/oz.

January 2022 Sales

The state also reported that January sales totaled $27.9 million, which dropped from 2021’s January sales total of $41 million. In January 2022, 41,659 pounds were sold while it was 41,623 pounds. So the amount is roughly the same, but not the price. In January 2022, the average retail price for flower was $119 – a dramatic drop form January 2021’s average price of $252.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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