Expect 'High-End' Recreational Pot Shops To Open In Michigan Next Year

WWJ News
August 30, 2019 - 11:08 am
marijuana store

Cannabis is displayed at Essence Vegas Cannabis Dispensary before the midnight start of recreational marijuana sales on June 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - With legal pot shops coming soon to Michigan, what should consumers expect?

Starting as soon as early 2020, anyone over 21 will be able to walk into a marijuana store and buy joints, edibles and other marijuana products for the first time.

While there are still many questions to be answered as the recreational pot business takes shape, such as financing and zoning, Josh Hovey of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association says Michiganders should anticipate "high-end" marijuana "experiences" across the state. 

"If you go to any of the stores in Washington or Colorado or even Las Vegas, you're treated almost like you would be at an Apple store," he told WWJ Newsradio 950's Dan Jenkins. "You're greeted at the front, you're gonna show your ID and you're gonna be led into the room and walked through a variety of products in a very well-lit, professionally designed storefront."

Hovey said each store will have a "budtender" who will help pot shoppers find exactly what they want.

"It would be more like walking into a fine wine store is what you're going to think about," Hovey explained. "If you're going to ask your wine vendor for a Cabernet with certain flavors or something like that, you're going to be able to talk to the employees at the dispensary and they're going to be able to tell you the flavor profile, the type of experience you might have with the product; whether it's relaxation or creativity or whatever you're going for."

Hovey said all of the products will be labeled with potency levels, much like alcohol. 

It's a lot more complex, he said, than just walking in and requesting some weed.

"You're going to want to talk to your budtender at any of these dispensaries and make sure you're asking them questions. They're all very knowledgeable," he said. "So if you're looking for a head high, a body buzz or things like that, or if you're looking to just relax, they'll be able to recommend a specific product for you and help guide you through what might be the best for your experience."

Since December 6, 2018, it has been legal for Michigan residents and visitors to have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana on them and up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home, but stores have not yet opened as regulators continue to work on licensing. The sales will be taxed, 10 percent on top of the six percent sales tax, with the tax dollars going to schools, roads and cities where the sales take place.

Those concerned that these fancy shops sound expensive should note that the law also allows residents to grow up to 12 plants in their homes.

It remains illegal to use marijuana in a public place or to drive under the influence. 

Questions? CLICK HERE to read the full text of the 2018 Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative as passed by Michigan voters.