MICHIGAN—Cannabis is a pretty big deal in Michigan—and there’s never a shortage of newsworthy headlines from the industry as the state inches closer to becoming the nation’s weed capital.
Here are seven things you need to know this week:
TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES: In what has been called a “clerical error” with the software system that tracks weed sales in Michigan, nearly every pot shop in the state was notified last week that they were late on their $40 monthly service fees—and were subsequently in jeopardy of losing access to their sales systems. The software company later confirmed to Crain’s Detroit that only about 11% of retailers were late on their payments.
SURVIVAL MODE: A declining number of medical marijuana patients in Michigan has led to a 64% drop in sales over the last two years. And now the owners of three medical marijuana shops in Oxford are pleading with local officials to grant them permission to also sell recreational weed—or else risk going out of business, reports The Oakland Press.
PARTY TIME: A new cannabis-themed music festival—the Fresh Water Music Festival—is coming to Baldwin on June 3. The full lineup hasn’t been announced, but initial artists include the Ann Arbor jazz-fusion band Chirp, and Detroit-area country music singer-songwriter Audrey Ray. Attendees can smoke inside designated consumption areas, hang out in a beer tent, and explore a wide range of vendors, food trucks, and other activities.
STATE CRACKDOWN: Last month, officials at the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency told The MichiGanja Report they would ramp up enforcement on unlicensed marijuana sales. This month, they’ve kept their word, suspending the cannabis processing licenses of a Lansing-based company that was found to have laced its products with illicit additives.
EMERGING LEADERS: The challenges that Black entrepreneurs face in Michigan, including a more difficult time accessing loans and capital, have created inequities in the cannabis industry. For Black History Month, the Detroit Free Press featured several Black-owned cannabis businesses. February is over—but their success stories are still worth sharing.
READY TO RUMBLE: Professional wrestler Ric Flair will visit Cloud Cannabis dispensaries on March 16 and 17 to promote his new line of cannabis products—Ric Flair Drip. The exact schedule hasn’t been set. Details will be announced at the Cloud Cannabis website.
MORE SUMMER MUSIC: Cannabash—another cannabis-themed music festival that debuted in Muskegon last year—is returning on July 8, reports the Detroit Metro Times. Last year’s festivities drew about 7,500 attendees and more than 70 cannabis brands and vendors. This year’s headliners include Ludacris and Detroit rapper Sada Baby. Tickets start at $50.
This information originally appeared in Vol. 2 of The MichiGanja Report, a free newsletter from The ‘Gander about all things cannabis, written by ‘Gander Editor Kyle Kaminski. Click here to subscribe, and we’ll send the next edition straight to your inbox.
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