On Sunday, Michigan brought in $221,000 from its first day of legal recreational marijuana sales.
The figure comes from the combined sales at three licensed pot shops in Ann Arbor, Detroit News reported. On Sunday morning, crowds from across the state and out-of-state formed long lines in the rain to become Michigan’s first legal weed customers.
"I saw the coverage of the lines, and I think that was what we expected," the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s director, Andrew Brisbo, told the Detroit Free Press. "The demand is already there and we’re inching toward the supply that will meet that demand."
Hyped crowds and long lines are becoming a new American tradition when states begin selling legal weed. The Ann Arbor pot shop Exclusive Brands had to turn away 200 potential customers when the store had to close at 9PM, but customers were offered vouchers and a raffle for tickets to a Detroit Pistons game if those same customers returned the next day.
“They have a golden ticket to come back,” the owner of Executive Brands, Omar Hishmeh, said to the Detroit Free Press. “There was a lot of adrenaline for the whole team. We did our best to prepare, but we didn’t think there would be a consistent line all day of between 400 and 500 people.”
Michigan is now the 12th US state that permits recreational weed sales. While the state struggled to get its medical marijuana program off the ground, in the last year, the state sold nearly $270 million worth of medical cannabis products. The demand for medical weed led to severe shortages across the state, prompting one cancer patient to sue the state on grounds of medical neglect.
Michigan’s regulators, aiming to prevent a massive shortage in the recreational market, allowed licensed recreational pot shops to transfer 50 percent of their medically licensed products into recreational retail. And while marijuana vapes are not readily available at the moment due to the vaping illness crisis and new lab testing requirements, weed vapes are slowly creeping back onto dispensary shelves.
There are at least five more US states poised to legalize marijuana during next year’s November elections. If Michigan’s numbers are any indication, we’ll likely be seeing more long, winding lines outside new pot shops in other states sometime in 2021.
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