Michigan broke another cannabis sales record last December, closing out 2021 with nearly $1.8 billion in combined annual medical and adult-use sales.
According to an end-of-year report by the state Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), state-licensed dispensaries sold over $135 million worth of adult-use pot in December, breaking last October's record of $128 million in sales. In total, Michiganders bought over 182,000 pounds of adult-use pot last month, including over 151,000 pounds of edibles, 24,100 pounds of infused tinctures and beverages, and over 21,500 pounds of flower.
And although the state's medical marijuana dispensaries didn't break any sales records last month, they still sold nearly $33 million worth of product. Again, edibles were the most popular product, with around 39,000 pounds sold last month, but patients also copped 6,300 pounds of infused liquids and over 5,400 pounds of bud.
December's sales record nudged the state's end-of-year legal weed sales total to just over $1.79 million, including $1.3 million in adult-use sales and $481 million in medical sales. Remarkably, these sales figures are continuing to grow year-over-year even though the wholesale price of weed has continued to drop.
“It’s good to note that the new high is not because of increasing prices,” said MRA executive director Andrew Brisbo in a social media post. “In fact, prices in medical and adult-use continue to drop, month over month, and year over year.”
In December 2020, the average prices for legal weed dropped to $350 an ounce for adult-use and $265/oz for medical pot. Last December, those prices fell to $185/oz for adult-use and $175/oz for medical.
2021's record sales brought Michigan nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in additional tax revenue. Around $115 million of this revenue went straight into the state's general fund, just like sales taxes on other items. Another $131.2 million was sent to an excise fund that redistributes pot taxes to public schools, road and infrastructure repairs, and local governments.
Legal cannabis taxes brought adult-use states a total of over $3 billion last year, a welcome source of additional income that states have been reinvesting in communities and schools. Illinois' thriving adult-use industry now brings in more tax income than its local booze industry does, and the state is using this money to fund programs helping restore communities most heavily impacted by the War on Drugs. Illinois has also invested over $30 million in weed taxes on a program to help former pot offenders clear their criminal records.
Like Michigan, Colorado uses a sizable proportion of its weed tax revenue to help fund its public school system, and California has given over $100 million in weed taxes to nonprofit programs that benefit communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition. Washington state has chosen to use its pot taxes to fund public health initiatives, and Alaska uses half of its total adult-use sales tax revenue to fund reentry programs for currently and formerly incarcerated people.