After booming first year, recreational cannabis market shows no signs of slowing down – Michigan Radio

While COVID-19 has put many folks out of business, one industry is booming: cannabis. It’s been nearly one year since Michigan dispensaries were allowed to start selling marijuana for recreational purposes. And for many Michiganders, it came just in time. As people look for a way to take the edge off 2020, recreational cannabis sales are closing in on half a billion dollars.

Stateside’s conversation with Dustin Walsh

Dustin Walsh, senior reporter at Crains Detroit Business, has been reporting on the industry’s impressive growth. He said that while many industries are looking at substantial losses during the pandemic, cannabis sales  have increased every month since last December. Walsh said this was possible, in part, because the government categorized the marijuana industry as an essential industry all the way back in March.

But the pandemic has brought changes to how dispensaries interact with their customers. Marie King is with Bloom City Club, a dispensary with locations in Battle Creek, Burton, and Ann Arbor. Usually, she says, people like coming into the dispensary to talk to the staff about their options, but curbside pickup has altered that relationship.

“The level of care that we were used to, it was still there, but we had to be more creative about how we were able to help people that way,” King said.

Stateside’s conversation with Marie King

Bloom City Club was a medical marijuana dispensary before recreational cannabis was legalized. The shift to a recreational market has meant adjusting to new regulations throughout the distribution chain. For example, the state enacted a tracking system which follows cannabis from seed to sale. That’s increased oversight, and subsequently, prices.

“Cannabis is one of those interesting products that it kind of just sells itself,

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