Cultivation racks at Redbud Roots. (submitted)

Although aggregate monthly sales for medical and recreational marijuana in Michigan peaked eight months ago, state operators see a lot of green ahead based on a March bounce. 

The warmer weather along with the gradual resumption of social activity, they say, inspired many Michiganders to get their flower on this month, particularly ahead of St. Patrick’s Day. Stimulus checks earmarked for sativa and other strains also spurred sales. 

“We are seeing a big pop in numbers on our side,” said Dave Murray, CEO of Buchanan-based Redbud Roots, which operates 100,000 square feet of cultivation space and three provisioning centers with another three under construction. Murray added that, “between March 15 and October 15 is the sweet spot,” for his company as cannabis consumers imbibe at higher frequencies not only on a holiday long associated with intoxication, but also April 20 (420 is a traditional day of cannabis celebration) into summer months where life is lived outside. 

Vishal Rungta, co-founder of Ann Arbor-based multistate operator C3 Industries, for similar reasons is seeing “a seasonal uptick”. 

C3 operates a 36,000 square foot cultivation facility in Webberville along with five provisioning centers throughout the state. The venture-backed company, which began operating in the more mature marijuana market of Oregon in 2018, also has a growing presence in Massachusetts and Missouri. 

“We absolutely plan for seasonal dips and in general anticipate a tightening of the market in those winter months,” Rungta said. “This is following very similar tracks to what we’ve seen in Oregon.”

Chris Jackson, who heads government relations and social equity initiatives for an ownership that operates Sticky-branded provisioning centers in Michigan says, “sales began to come back in the last month or two when people started to get back to regular life.”

Sticky, which is building 30,000 square feet of cultivation space in Lansing, sells medical and recreational cannabis in four provisioning centers with two more set to open in June. 

Jackson, also a board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, credits the stimulus checks provided via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 as an additional boon to his bud business.

“It helps when the federal government pumps money into the economy,” he said. 

Michigan marijuana wholesale broker and retailer Jason Crockett notes that sales numbers are also impacted by how users are consuming the product seasonally. 

“The summer is very good for flower because more people are outdoors and like to smoke outside, said Crockett whose company THCBD Source brokers transactions between more than a dozen cultivators and processors and several provisioning centers. “People smoke their concentrates in the winter.” 

Longer-term, says Crockett, Michigan’s climate and proximity to the Great Lakes will make the state an easier place to cultivate while eventual federal regulation makes it attractive to multistate operators. 

“MSO’s aren’t coming to Michigan trying to get rich,” he said. “They are building huge facilities because they are gearing up for the feds and being able to move product across state lines.”

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.