Part [part not set] of 6 in the series Michigan MRA Data

[Get an updated list and map from December 2020 here.]

While Michigan has been adding cannabis retail locations quickly, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has also been approving many more new cultivation sites in 2020 than it did in 2019. While the MRA approved an average of 21 new cultivation licenses per month in 2019, in 2020 it has been granting an average 39 licenses every month. However, while the state has a large number of smaller grow sites, the vast majority of the growers approved have been for large, “Class C” cultivation licenses, during 2019 and 2020, the period during which public records have been released by the MRA.

Using weekly license data reported by the MRA, Grown In has developed a sharp picture of the current state of cannabis in Michigan. Using MRA’s public data, Grown In pulled location and ownership data of grower licenses and created the first public analysis of who owns what, and how many cultivation sites in Michigan.

You can download Grown In’s datafile here using the information we gathered.

The ownership structures of many cannabis cultivation sites are complicated, often with nested, multiple LLCs, or individual owners that own multiple locations under different company names. Here we dove into the data to learn more about the state of the market. All of our data is as of June 30, 2020, the latest the MRA has published. 

One important detail about the Michigan system is that unlike some other states, the medical and retail cannabis systems operate almost completely separately. Medical cannabis is grown at a medical cannabis licensed facility, processed at a medical processor, and sold at a medical “provisioning center”. Recreational cannabis is grown, processed and sold in a similar, separate system, the products don’t meet – except that medical and recreational retail locations can share the same space.

While recreational cannabis sales are legal in Michigan, the state has more registered medical patients than any other recreational-legal state – 249,455 as of May, according to the MRA. This huge number of medical cannabis patients, who tend to be more loyal, regular customers, has propped up a large medical cannabis industry, while the recreational business is still just starting to grow.

Some of what we learned from the data, all of which begins in October 2019:

  • 209 Class C medical grower licenses have been awarded, grouped into 81 companies. Each Class C license allows a grower to cultivate up to 2,000 marijuana plants. Some of the largest facilities have four or five Class C licenses in one place.
  • 17 companies have been awarded 4 or more Class C licenses.
  • 5 Class B medical grower licenses have been awarded. Each Class B license allows a grower to cultivate up to 500 marijuana plants.
  • 39 Class A medical grower licenses have been awarded. Each Class A license allows a grower to cultivate up to 100 marijuana plants.
  • 73 Class C recreational grower licenses have been awarded to 37 companies.
  • 6 Class B recreational grower licenses have been awarded.
  • No Class A recreational grower licenses have been awarded.
  • The largest medical growers are:
    • LivWell Enlightened Health owned by Thomas Lauzon, chief of medtech company WellOpp, with 14 licenses awarded.
    • Green Peak Industries, LLC led by Jeffrey Radway, with 13 licenses awarded.
    • Green Standard Cultivation, LLC owned by Salvador Sacasa, James Deweese, and Prakash Gandhi with 12 licenses awarded.
    • VB Chesaning, LLC/High Life Farms owned by Bendetteo Celani, Vincenzo Celani, and Jason Pasko with 10 licenses awarded.
  • The largest recreational growers are:
    • Attitude Wellness/Lume Cannabis Company led by Douglas Hellyar with 5 licenses awarded.
    • Green Peak Industries led by Jeffrey Radway with 5 licenses awarded.
    • MPM-C Marshall LLC, owned by Ontario logistics magnate Steve Ondejko, with 5 licenses awarded.
    • Windsor Township OG, LLC/RAIR Systems, led by Patrick Frakes, with 5 licenses awarded.
    • Big Rock Corp/Six Labs, led by John Taylor, a Chicago-area caterer, with 4 licenses awarded.
    • PG Manufacturing, led by Sam Usman, with 4 licenses awarded.
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Editor Mike is a co-founder and the editor of Grown In, a U.S. national cannabis industry newsletter and training company. His career has taken him from Capitol Hill to Chicago City Hall, from...