The landscape of the cannabis industry in Michigan is gradually shifting.
According to Brad Bogus, vice president of growth and marketing for Confident Cannabis, which is headquartered in California and created testing software that is used by cannabis labs in Michigan, there are more unlicensed medical marijuana retailers than licensed retailers in the state. He said there are 77 licensed retailers and roughly 150 unlicensed or illegal retailers in the state. Those retailers are being supplied by caregivers in the state.
Due to buildout costs and other barriers to legally enter the market, there are fewer cultivation and manufacturing businesses seeking to license than retailers, per Confident Cannabis.
“This is causing a severe shortage of supply, especially in licensed flower,” Bogus said. “Prices for flower are $1,500-$3,000 per pound, roughly two to four times of what they are in Oregon. Around 14% of the product is currently coming from licensed growers. Cultivators are also acting as wholesalers — buying, testing and reselling products they didn't make.”
Shortly after the legalization of medical marijuana, registered caregivers who assist licensed medical marijuana cardholders could purchase and grow marijuana. Bogus said there are about 40,000 caregivers in Michigan.