For the next three months, customers in Michigan’s marijuana market could see higher prices—and fewer supplies.

That’s a potential byproduct of new rules governing the state’s weed supply that took effect on Sunday. The rules, issued by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency, require that all growers and processors “only transfer marijuana flower that has been tested in full compliance with the law and administrative rules,” and that they “must tag or package all inventory that has been identified in the statewide monitoring system and must transfer marijuana flower by means of a secured transporter, except where exempted” under the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB). Additionally, growers and processors who obtain marijuana flower from primary caregivers “must enter all inventory into the statewide monitoring system immediately upon receipt.” 

The Implications of The New Order

What does that mean exactly? As the Detroit Free Press put it, the idea is to “phase out products grown and processed by caregivers, who have been cultivating weed since Michigan voters approved marijuana for medical use in 2008.” 

“And that’s going to put a crucial crimp in Michigan’s supply of weed. Currently, the cannabis grown by caregivers — the people registered by the state who can grow up to 72 plants for up to six medical marijuana cardholders — makes up 60% of the marijuana flower in the marketplace,” the Free Press reported. “Under previous rules, the caregivers have been able to supply marijuana flower and infused products to state licensed growers and processors to supplement the medical and recreational marketplace.”

Ten years after the state passed a medical marijuana law, Michigan voters passed a measure in 2018 legalizing recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older by a margin of 56 percent-44 percent. The law took effect last year.

So far, the state’s legal marijuana market is off to a gangbusters start. When weed went on sale in the first week of December, sales still reached nearly $1.63 million despite there being only five dispensaries open in the state at that time.

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