Traverse City has 12 dispensaries – but they’re all only allowed to sell medical marijuana. And that’s not the business model they were planning on when Michigan voters allowed recreational pot back in 2018.
Mia Fabian is the General Manager at Lighthouse. “People just think because they voted for it, because it was passed, that we just have it. But we don’t. And there’s no plans for it.”
Traverse City has a dozen shops for medical marijuana. But they came here after voters said yes to recreational marijuana, and many thought that was the business they were getting into. Michael DiLaura is the Chief Corporate Operations & General Counsel for House of Dank. He says, “We know there’s support for it. The city’s already opted in. 68% of residents voted for Prop 1.”
Meanwhile the state just announced that millions of dollars is going back to cities, townships and counties that have recreational facilities, as a part of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. That’s 38 counties, seven villages, 21 townships, and 38 cities in all – but Traverse City isn’t one of them. DiLaura says, “The MRA, the Marijuana Regulatory Authority here in Michigan, just announced $10 (M) million dollars was being returned back to municipalities that have adult-use, recreational storefronts. Traverse City left over $300,000 on the table… by not allowing that. The state was giving $28,000 per storefront.”
Store owners and employees say it simply doesn’t have to be this way. “This is really an example of us trying to initiate the conversation, of ‘let’s get real here.’ We’ve got an incredible summer tourism season coming up.” DiLaura adds, “We think we just