If you’re looking to grip some ganja from one of the Midwest’s first fully legal recreational cannabis dispensaries, you’ll need to get in line early, wait for a while, and even then you might still find yourself leaving empty-handed.
Just one week after Michigan kicked off recreational cannabis sales, licensed dispensaries are already closing early and limiting purchases, thanks to a combination of overwhelming demand and short supply.
“Sunday it was around 6 o’clock we sold out of flower. Monday it was around 5. Tuesday it was like 3,” Maggie Smith, manager at Greenstone Provisions dispensary in Ann Arbor, told MLive. “People are coming from Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, all over Michigan, everywhere.”
Ann Arbor was the first city in the state to open recreational pot shops after adult-use sales began on December 1st. On the first day alone, customers lined up in the rain for hours, eventually spending approximately $221,000 on flower, edibles, and extracts. In the days that followed, those lines continued to grow, leaving dispensaries like Greenstone with no choice but to shut down early thanks to a lack of product.
With current laws allowing only previously-licensed medical dispensaries to sell recreational weed, customers are severely limited in their options. At another Ann Arbor dispensary, Arbor Wellness, managers say that they have been able to stay open into the evening, but have had to cap purchases so that they can save enough bud to go around.
“We’re at capacity,” Arbor Wellness owner James Daly said. “The demand is obviously very high. We’re seeing people from all of these surrounding states in the Midwest, and it’ll be welcoming for more facilities to come online.”
Like most nascent legal weed markets, Michigan’s cannabis supply is expected to increase as more cultivators and dispensaries are awarded state licensing in the coming weeks and months. And with nearby Illinois debuting its own legal industry next month, state officials and overwhelmed dispensary owners alike are confident that increased competition will have a beneficial outcome for the entire supply chain — customers included.
“I just feel bad for the people who have to come so far and then they don’t get to get exactly what they want,” Greenstone’s Maggie Smith told MLive. “And I know people have complained about that, too, so I think it’s nice for people to have more options, especially closer to the state border and up north.”
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