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Communities benefitting from $341 million in marijuana sales

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:12 PM EST
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - “Legal” drug dealing was a $341-million business in Michigan in 2020.

This week, the state distributed some $45.7 million in excise taxes and fees imposed on the adult-use marijuana industry.

Each city, village, township, and county that hosts a retail adult-use store received $28,000 per store.

“Right now, we’re receiving $84,000 based on previous figures of three dispensaries. Right now, we do have four operational and a fifth that will be operational very soon,” said Buchanan City Manager Heather Grace. “There’s been some productive conversations previous about looking to do quality of life improvements as well as economic development.”

While the recently passed-out proceeds are nice, they perhaps pale in comparison to other benefits the industry has brought to town.

“There’s industrial corridors in Buchanan that are filled with processing and growing. These are high tech jobs. These are laboratories and processing centers. They’re good paying jobs. They’re tens of millions of dollars of investment,” said Buchanan Community Development Director Richard Murphy.

In fiscal year 2020, the 10 percent excise tax on the sale of adult use marijuana along with various fees brought in $45.7 million.

Host communities split $10 million, while $11.6 million payments were made to the state’s School Aid and Transportation Funds.

$12.5 million went to pay administrative costs for running the pot program.

Buchanan collected $84,000. Niles collected $56,000.

Some were surprised that Berrien County picked up $140,000 based on the number of dispensaries operating in Buchanan and Niles.

“Well, when you’re not expecting it, it’s a nice little windfall,” said Berrien County Treasurer Shelly Weich.

The City of Ann Arbor collected $476,000 based on the 17 dispensaries located there.

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