Not everyone was as excited as the hundreds of people lined up around Ann Arbor’s three provisioning centers Sunday morning angling to be among the first to legally purchase marijuana for recreational use.
The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association (MiCIA) says it remains opposed to the state’s decision to launch early recreational sales due to limited supplies and the necessity to transfer some existing medical marijuana product. Centers were allowed to transfer 50 percent of their 30-day-old medical marijuana supply to recreational sales in order to boost recreational product availability.
“This decision by the state caused a dramatic increase in demand for product in Ann Arbor exacerbating supply shortages in medical marijuana cities such as Detroit and Lansing,” says Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. “We are hopeful the state will realize their mistake and take steps to ensure that the medical-only provisioning centers across the state have enough inventory left to keep their doors open.”
Retail sales started Sunday at three retail outlets in Ann Arbor – Exclusive Brands, Arbor Wellness, and Greenstone Provisions – 13 months after Michigan voters approved the measure. Michigan legalized marijuana use for medical purposes in 2008.
“While we are all excited about the state’s first recreational sales this poorly planned move by the state and increased product shortage highlights that our regulatory program is in desperate need of broad sweeping reforms including oversight when decisions are being made such as these that are financially harmful to the majority of the cannabis industry,” Schneider continued.
The opening of legal cannabis sales for recreational use attracted customers from surrounding states as well as those from Michigan.