The lawyer for a Detroit-area businessman who pleaded guilty to bribing a top marijuana regulator is disputing a recommended prison sentence range and asking that a federal judge give John Dawood Dalaly a lighter punishment regardless. In a motion filed Wednesday, Raymond Cassar contended that the correct guideline range is 24 to 30 months in prison, not 37 to 46 months as calculated by the probation department. Prosecutors are seeking 30 to 37 months to account for his cooperation in the investigation… Read more.
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Workers at Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Ascend Cannabis Provisions on Thursday voted to join the Teamsters Local 406. It is the second collective bargaining agreement in the Michigan cannabis industry that the Teamsters have ratified, and the first in the Western part of the state. In a statement, Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International vice president and Food Processing Division director, described the contract as a “gust of wind before the tornado of new organizing in the state.” The agreement includes an immediate raise with a… Read more.
According to the most recent monthly data from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency, cannabis sales in Michigan set an all-time high in July, totaling $276 million. The majority of these sales were ascribed to the adult-use cannabis industry. Despite this increase in sales, local cannabis firms are having difficulty turning a profit. The state is anticipated to achieve a historic milestone, surpassing $3 billion in revenue for the first time in 2023. This achievement underscores the significance of Michigan's cannabis industry, positioning… Read more.
Michigan’s marijuana regulatory body is taking too long to crack down on businesses that have violated state regulations, according to a state audit. The state’s Office of the Auditor General said in the report that the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) takes up to two years to enact disciplinary action and needs to speed up its processes, according to The Detroit News. “Timely action helps CRA mitigate potential risks to Michigan’s cannabis consumers and reduce future licensee violations,” the report contends. The CRA told… Read more.
Michigan’s medical marijuana industry is wilting. The portion of the cannabis business that stood up legal weed in the state is now at its lowest point since its inception in 2008, according to data from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency. Sales crept to just $6.14 million in July, down nearly 71% from a year ago and down 86% from July 2022 when sales reached nearly $43 million. The cost of an ounce of medical marijuana is down 52% over the last… Read more.
Brandon Kanitz, CEO of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based marijuana company Fluresh LLC, moved to Traverse City, Michigan, in September 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic had closed schools, the family man needed help with child care and his wife’s family lived in the Grand Traverse region. But moving put Fluresh in violation of Grand Rapids’ medical marijuana social equity system, which requires 25% local ownership. The city’s licensure scoring system provided “bonus points” to companies that committed to local ownership, a diverse workforce… Read more.
Retail trends generally roll in waves, but the waves look more like oscillations in the cannabis industry. Michigan is an excellent example. By 2016, before the state legalized adult use, retailers and speculators were snapping up storefronts at three to five times the going rate. That enthusiasm was unsustainable. Today, you’ll still find dispensaries paying twice as much per square foot as their nearest neighbor, but you’ll also find them paying a lot less. “The price per square foot was $80.… Read more.
A large Michigan cannabis development site is up for sale as Pontiac and the property’s developer battle in a federal court case. The battle marks an apparent end for a $40 million development plan that aimed to remake a derelict old Kmart site into a site for marijuana business and other retail. And the legal battle has expanded to include allegations of bribery by the city’s current administration against previous officials, including a former mayor. Rubicon Real Estate Holdings LLC,… Read more.
Michigan’s Wayne State University this fall semester will begin offering a cannabis chemistry undergraduate certificate. The 15-credit hour program will focus on instrumentation, standard operating procedures, business and law practices, and science behind the testing and regulation of cannabis. The certificate program will be housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and administered by the Department of Chemistry. It will require five classes and a research course. In a statement, Andrea Matti, assistant professor of teaching in the… Read more.
Michigan’s marijuana industry is among the most competitive industry in the state. With basement-low wholesale prices, the industry is becoming increasingly more vertically-integrated. The most profitable way to do business in weed is for growers to be sellers, realizing margins on both sides of the business. Some consolidation has occurred and more is likely. The large players remain large, such as Lume. But others are growing their presence in retail, like Common Citizen, which acquired Liv Cannabis last year and… Read more.
The marijuana industry got what it asked for — and operators are unhappy. After years of little to no enforcement under former Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency Executive Director Andrew Brisbo, operators demanded a change. They wanted regulators to root out the illicit market marijuana entering the legal space and cratering prices and to also punish those involved in the schemes. Brisbow was reassigned and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer installed Brian Hanna in the role last September. Hanna, a former CRA enforcement agent, and… Read more.
Sky Labs was slapped with a $100,000 fine last month for failing compliance testing. This story was republished with permission from Crain’s Detroit. Michigan regulators issued a recall of marijuana vape cartridges sold around the state allegedly containing banned chemicals. The Cannabis Regulatory Agency issued the recall of the cartridges under the brand name Flight with flavors called Grease Monkey, Space Ether, and Bubblegum. The cartridges were manufactured by Sky Labs LLC in Mt. Morris, north of Flint. The CRA already… Read more.
The Michigan Civil Service Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to lift a ban on hiring most state employees who fail pre-employment drug tests for cannabis, MLive reports. Drug screening for cannabis will remain the protocol for state-employed health workers, police, Department of Corrections Officers, and others employed in safety-sensitive positions. Nearly 350 applicants have failed drug tests for cannabis and have been denied employment since legalization five years ago, according to the Civil Service Commission. The change also ends current policies banning applicants who… Read more.
The city of Detroit will begin accepting applications for the second round of limited marijuana business licenses, which include dispensaries, microbusinesses and consumption lounges, on Aug. 1. A total of 30 marijuana retailer licenses are available in this round, along with 10 microbusiness licenses and 10 consumption lounge licenses. Half of all licenses are set aside for "equity applicants," including people who live in communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. Equity applicants also include those with certified Detroit Legacy status… Read more.
Cannabis real estate developer Jeffrey Yatooma could soon have dominance of Auburn Hills’ marijuana market. Yatooma’s impending dominance comes after a creative and successful ballot initiative that led to Auburn Hills voters approving weed businesses in the city in November 2022. But the path for the city has not been straightforward. A month before the vote, City Council effectively blocked marijuana licensing, and Yatooma, with an amendment to zoning rules. And now the council is flipping again. The city’s economic… Read more.
Scents of cannabis and sounds of hip-hop will fill Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park this weekend with the arrival of the first Spark in the Park music festival. Staples of 90′s and 2000s hip-hop including Method Man and Redman and B-Real are slated to headline the festival, which takes place from 1 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11 in Riverside Park, located at 2 E. Cross St. The lineup is rounded out with a range of hip-hop… Read more.
The Michigan Civil Service Commission earlier this month proposed a rule change that would drop pre-employment drug testing for cannabis. The proposal would not change the requirements for safety-sensitive jobs, such as state police or commercial vehicle drivers. “If approved, they would not impact current testing Adult-use cannabis has been legal in Michigan since 2018. The rules requiring cannabis testing as a pre-employment requirement in Michigan were implemented in 1998, according to an official communication from State Personnel Director John Gnodtke. The… Read more.
From a new cannabis consumption lounge coming to downtown Bay City to a family fun center that just reopened in Saginaw County, here’s some recent business news you might have missed: Little Pastry Shop bringing freshly-baked cinnamon rolls and pies to City Market Little Pastry Shop is bringing fresh baked goods to downtown Bay City’s City Market. The new bakery specializes in its best-selling cinnamon rolls, scones, such as customer favorites: lemon and tart cherry almond, personal pies and other… Read more.
A recent report from the Marijuana Policy Project revealed that tax revenue from adult-use cannabis experienced a decline across legal states in 2022, marking the first time this has occurred in the United States. While sales tax from cannabis still generated a respectable $3.77 billion, this figure was slightly lower than the $3.86 billion generated in 2021. Despite declining adult-use cannabis tax revenue in 2022, states reported over $15.1 billion in tax revenue from legal cannabis sales for adults. This figure reflects sales… Read more.
Across the state, pubs, cigar bars and even hookah lounges are common. Could cannabis consumption lounges be next? Michigan is among 10 states that have legalized public cannabis consumption on some level. Cannabis lounges allow customers to consume on-site, but they're not allowed to sell any marijuana or related products like edibles. They essentially operate as the equivalent of BYOB (bring your own bottle) restaurants. "The public is welcome and they can bring any cannabis they want, whether it was… Read more.
As people start to make their summer travel plans, there are a growing number of options for travelers to Michigan to consume marijuana on vacation, from cannabis music festivals to consumption lounges and cannabis-friendly lodging. While the number and variety of options available to travelers since marijuana became legal in 2018 are increasing, the cannabis travel industry is still in its early days. There are no Pure Michigan (the state of Michigan's tourism campaign) commercials advertising cannabis tourism in the… Read more.
Michigan’s largest marijuana testing lab is continuing its legal assault on state regulators, alleging in a new motion in court that regulators are withholding evidence stemming from a 2021 recall. Bay City-based Viridis North LLC and the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency have been wrapped up in litigation for two years over the recall of products tested by the lab. The state agency alleged Viridis’ testing results on 64,000 pounds of marijuana product contained “inaccurate and/or unreliable results.” The value of… Read more.
Soon, Bay City will open something that is new for Mid-Michigan -- lounges that are like a bar...for cannabis users. Bay City is one of just a handful of cities trying this in our state. Earlier this month, the city commission revised its recreational marijuana ordinance, allowing a total of five designated consumption licenses to qualified applicants. It has been met with both support and opposition. "It's highly regulated, just like the sales," City Commissioner Chris Girard said. No alcohol… Read more.
A Michigan businessman last week pleaded guilty to paying bribes to the former head of the state’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, the Detroit News reports. John Dawood Dalaly admitted to a federal judge that he hired Rick Johnson’s wife, Jan Johnson, as a consultant for $4,000 a month and she helped him fill out forms that would end up in front of the board that her husband chaired. Dalaly also admitted to providing at least $68,200 in cash and other benefits to Johnson, including… Read more.
A Detroit-area businessman who pleaded guilty Friday to bribing a top medical marijuana regulator in exchange for approval of state dispensary licenses said the payments included $4,000 a month for the official’s wife, who was paid as a “consultant” during the process. John Dalaly, 70, of West Bloomfield Township disclosed the arrangement during questioning from U.S. Magistrate Phillip Green. He said he approached Rick Johnson, who then chaired Michigan’s now-former medical marijuana licensing board, with questions about applying for licenses… Read more.
The chairman and CEO of troubled Skymint is out as the company battles through court-ordered receivership. “We can confirm that Jeff Radway is no longer with Skymint,” the company said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “As we work through this transition, our focus remains on ensuring we are providing exceptional products and unmatched service to our customers.” On April 7, Jeff Donahue, executive vice president and general counsel of Skymint, told employees in an email obtained by Crain’s that Radway… Read more.
The Reef opened as a medical marijuana dispensary in 2014 and attracted 500 customers a day. That’s before losing almost all of them four years later when recreational marijuana was legalized in nearby Michigan cities, such as Hazel Park and Ferndale. Though Michigan voters approved recreational cannabis in 2018, it was held up in Detroit by years of court battles. It turns out, someone else already had a great idea. Jason Kouza of Dort Hwy Dispo, a recreational dispensary in… Read more.
Florida House Committee OKs Hemp Product Restriction Bill Following the approval of a bill related to regulating for hemp-derived products, entrepreneurs are concerned that the bill could put them out of business. The proposed bill, HB 1475, sponsored by Republican Will Robinson Jr. of Manatee County, aims to limit the amount of THC in retail hemp products. This move is in response to the growing popularity of Delta-8, a legal product that has led to proposed hemp regulations in over 20 states in the past two years.… Read more.
After the extraordinary winter most of North America suffered through this year, the balmy weather of last May and June may feel like a figment of our imaginations. Fortunately, time is flying by, and friends and families soon will gather at the beach or for cookouts. There will be good music, great food, festive libations … and perhaps a new item will find its way onto the menu: infused beverages. At first glance, it is easy to overlook or dismiss the beverage… Read more.
Federal prosecutors charged former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson, a Republican, and three others in a public corruption scheme related to the state’s medical marijuana licensing process. All four defendants are cooperating with the investigation and have agreed to plead guilty to felony offenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Moving forward I want to be crystal clear,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office, working with FBI Michigan, will place the highest priority on our work to prosecute public corruption cases at… Read more.
The former head of a Michigan medical cannabis licensing board on Thursday pleaded guilty to accepting $110,000 in bribes in exchange for industry licenses, CBS News reports. Rick Johnson served as head of the board for two years and served as state House speaker from 2001-2004 when Republicans controlled the chamber. During a press conference on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced the charges against Johnson, John Dalaly, Brian Pierce, and Vincent Brown. All four signed plea deals admitting the charges. Dalaly,… Read more.
Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Another Senate Hurdle Minnesota is close to legalizing marijuana after a Senate committee approved a bill by Sen. Lindsey Port (D). The bill has only two more committees to pass before it can be taken to the full chamber. The House companion bill, sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) has already passed through 14 committees, reported Marijuana Moment. Want Some Great Weed In Michigan? Join the ultimate marijuana showdown at Michigan's 4th Annual Cannabis Cup. The competition is back and bigger than ever. With… Read more.
City of Detroit officials are celebrating the opening of the first adult-use cannabis dispensary that is part of a social equity program designed to ensure that Black residents are represented in the legal marijuana industry. Nuggets Cannabis, a Black-owned family business, opened this weekend at 18270 Telegraph Rd. “This doesn’t happen everywhere,” Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison said. “We fought to ensure legacy Detroiters have an opportunity to grow businesses in the cannabis industry, which has had a disproportionately negative impact… Read more.
The 2023 Recreational Marijuana Supply and Demand Legislative report from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission states that per-gram cannabis prices in Oregon have decreased by 16% from the previous year, reaching an all-time low of $4. According to the OLCC, the market demand for marijuana in Oregon was estimated to be 52% of the supply in 2021 and 63% in 2022. Despite the deteriorating market conditions, 2022 was closer to achieving supply/demand equilibrium than 2021. This was due to OLCC Producers… Read more.
“I started smoking cannabis in college. During my sophomore year,” discloses NBA legend Allen Iverson. “Entering my rookie year, I got a hold of something quite strong, and that changed my thought process around smoking.” Now a weed connoisseur, Iverson has joined forces with Al Harrington’s Viola Brands to launch a line of cannabis products and merchandise under The Iverson Collection name. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing in the marijuana world for Iverson. In fact, the athlete was arrested for pot possession back in 1997.… Read more.
Cannabis flower prices per ounce have fallen in Michigan from $152 in January 2022 to $80 in January 2023, WOOD-TV reports. Benham Wrigley Jr., an attorney with CannaLex law, attributed the price decline to “oversupply.” According to a Crain’s Detroit Business report, there are five Michigan cannabis companies that have been placed under receiverships in the state. A receivership is a court-appointed tool that can assist creditors in recovering funds in default and can help troubled companies avoid bankruptcy. SKYMINT, which has 24 dispensaries in Michigan and has entered into… Read more.
Welcome to the magic mushroom club, Ferndale. We’re glad to see you. On Monday evening, Ferndale City Council unanimously approved a resolution to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi like psilocybin mushrooms, Ayahuasca, and Dimethyltryptamine (aka DMT). This doesn’t mean these psychedelic substances are completely legal, but the “investigation and arrest of persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing Entheogenic Plants or plant compounds which are on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall be the… Read more.
Cannabis regulators in Michigan have suspended the medical and adult-use cannabis business licenses of TAS Asset Holdings after discovering the company was adding unregulated cannabis to its products. Michigan regulators have suspended the medical and adult-use cannabis licenses of TAS Asset Holdings after it found its products were combined with unregulated cannabis product before being sold in the regulated market. The affected products were marketed under the “Fwaygo Extracts” brand and produced between November 10, 2022, and November 17, 2022. … Read more.