Progress of Michigan’s marijuana industry

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Saturday would be the biggest day of the year for dispensary owners, but without the green light from the state to sell recreational marijuana, they’re turning away lots of potential customers.

“[Customers] know that it’s legal in Michigan, but there’s no place for them to get it, you know, at a store front,” dispensary owner Jeffrey Hank says. “And of course we have to turn them away because it’s only for patients right now.”

But on the academic side, researchers at Michigan State University are exploring the effects of marijuana on different illnesses–and even if it has any effect on a persons’ weight.

Critics of legal recreational marijuana say it’s still too early to tell if it will be good or bad for the state overall. But they’re worried about the extra strain that legalization will put on law enforcement and public safety.

“We don’t have, in this state, enough folks, and frankly they don’t in California or  Colorado or other places, to properly manage this,” says Scott Greenlee, president of Healthy and Productive Michigan. “The people that have been trained along these lines from an expert, drug-detection type of program.”

But support for legal marijuana is still growing across the country despite those fears. According to a CBS News poll, 65 percent of Americans are in favor of legal recreational marijuana.

And people in the marijuana industry say they’re excited to see that number grow in Michigan once they start selling recreational product.

“[It] sounds like Governor Whitmer’s gonna do the right thing and roll out the Adult Use program faster so we can get people not only employed in jobs but also paying the tax revenue to all these communities,” Hank says. “So it’ll be an interesting few months to see how it plays out.”

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