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Michigan's cannabis industry passes $3 billion in sales in 2023

Jeff W.

Driving west across Michigan on I-94 or north on I-75, it often feels like there is a marijuana dispensary at every exit; just follow the directions on the hundreds of billboards lining the highway.

Michigan's recreational marijuana industry has exploded since legalization in 2018.

Total marijuana sales in 2023 surpassed $3 billion, according to new data from the state's Cannabis Regulatory Agency — or CRA. That's a 30% increase from sales in 2022.

But industry experts expect that growth to slow in 2024 as the growing and retail market spaces become more saturated.

Harry Barash is a cannabis-industry specialist and founder of MiCannaPros, a cannabis-industry Facebook page with over 9,000 members.

"At what point is the market going to become so over-saturated that new people aren't going to want to come in? That's really what we're seeing; you're not really seeing too many new grows being built out," Barash said.

For those wanting to break into the cannabis industry, there is hope: according to the CRA, there are currently over 2,000 cannabis licensees in Michigan to get involved with (over 1,000 growers, 350 processors, and 751 retailers as of December 2023).

Michiganders voted to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2018; legal sales of medical and recreational marijuana began in 2019.

Barash said that, although not many new grow operations are starting up, there are many Michiganders who still want to get started in cannabis.

"Fortunately, there's a lot of people that are passionate about this business and still want to see what it's all about, and are willing to start out at more entry-level positions just to get their foot in the door with the hopes that they're going to be moving up in the company," Barash said.

Copyright 2024 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Public.

Beth Weiler is a Newsroom intern covering the environment for Michigan Radio.