It was a historic day in Michigan on Sunday, where legal adult-use cannabis sales officially launched in select locations. Michigan has been home to an amazing cannabis community for many years and the launch of adult-use sales is a major milestone that cannabis advocates have fought for over the course of several decades.
Michigan voters approved a cannabis legalization initiative during the 2018 election. On Sunday Michigan joined a growing list of states that allow legal, regulated cannabis sales to adults 21 years old or older. The first legal purchase was made by a long-time cannabis advocate, as detailed by the Detroit Free Press:
The actual first sale happened at 9:50 a.m. to legendary cannabis activist John Sinclair, a Detroit resident who racked up three marijuana-related arrests in the 1960s and landed a 10-year prison sentence for giving an undercover cop two joints. His plight attracted the attention of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who headlined a concert in Ann Arbor in 1971 to bring attention to Sinclair’s arrest.
Several media reports detailed long lines at the limited number of retail outlets that were authorized to conduct sales, which is a common occurrence in legal states on the first day of legal sales. As more outlets open over time, the basic principles of supply and demand should even things out.
Colorado was the first state to allow legal adult-use sales in 2014, and lines were wrapping around city blocks for multiple days. That will likely be the case in Michigan too, where consumers are presumably excited to frequent a legal dispensary rather than make their purchase via an unregulated source.
Michigan is one of the top-ten most populated states in the country, so it’s a really big domino to fall in the effort to legalize cannabis sales nationwide. The only other top-ten state as measured by population-size to allow adult-use sales is the state of California. Next month another state, Illinois, will join that list.
Congratulations to all of the cannabis advocates that worked so hard for so many years to make legal sales a reality in Michigan!