Michigan Cannabis Retailers Running Out Of Flower, Setting Purchase Limits To Meet Demand

Demand for recreational weed is pretty high in Michigan.

“People traveled from across the state, braved the cold and stood in line for hours to be among the first to purchase recreational marijuana in northern Michigan," Doug Hellyar, president and COO of Lume Cannabis Company, told MLive.

“In under two days, we saw over 750 customers and did more than $75,000 in recreational sales, with the average customer spending $103.”

Lume subsidiary Lit Provisioning Centers in Evart exhausted its supply within its first two days.

The dispensary's problem was not unique.

Greenstone Provisions in Ann Arbor ran out of supply on its first day and has attempted to restock its inventory daily, according to MLive.

Since legal sales began Dec. 1, nearly all licensed pot shops have had to turn away buyers.

The Root Of The Issue

The pace of Michigan's regulatory process hasn’t helped the industry. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency has licensed only 10 distributors so far, and only five have begun sales.

The few active players have been burdened by extreme statewide demand.

Additionally, Michigan has licensed only three processing plants and one cannabis transportation business, which has made retail restocking problematic.

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Everyone Gets Less

As a result of store shortages, Greenstone and Michigan Supply and Provisions have capped flower sales at 7 grams per customer, and Arbors Wellness instituted a limit of of one-eighth of an ounce.

Those rates fall well below the state’s legal sales limit of 2.5 ounces of flower.

Exclusive Brands is the only licensed distributor not limiting purchases, MLive reported. 

“We’re not running out and we’re not limiting (sale) of any of our products,” co-owner Omar Hishmeh said last week. “We are fully stocked and are actively adding product to the system. We will not run out of product.”

Exclusive Brands does boast an advantage: the company and Arbors Wellness are the only distributors that own their own processing facilities, and their processing facilities are two of just three licensed in the state.

The other is owned by Green Peak, which also has retail licenses. With vertical operations, they control the majority of state-approved supply.

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