Widespread Recreational Cannabis Sales Delayed Until Spring

If you were hoping to get adult recreational use marijuana in your Christmas stocking or for use on New Year’s Eve, you might be disappointed.

State officials recently said widespread recreational sales probably won’t be up and running until March or April.

Some recreational merchants, however, will be able to begin sales Dec. 1, according to a bulletin issued by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The bulletin, issued Nov. 13, gives growers, processors and medical marijuana provisioning centers also holding recreational licenses the ability to transfer up to 50% of their medical marijuana products to their adult-use recreational facilities.

Andrew Brisbo, head of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, said earlier in the fall, all recreational sales would be delayed until spring to avoid creating a shortage of medical marijuana.

Nearly a year after Michigan voters approved legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, the state has been moving toward opening the nonmedical market. The MRA began accepting applications for recreational business licenses Nov. 1. Since most of the licenses are expected to go to merchants who already have medical marijuana licenses, approval is expected to be speedy, Brisbo told the Detroit Free Press.

“The emergency administrative rules allow for the MRA to allow transfers between the medical market and the adult-use market if it is deemed appropriate,” Brisbo said.

Unlike other states transitioning from medical to recreational markets, Michigan’s adult-use recreational market had to start from Square 1.

Brisbo said most medical marijuana businesses are expected to apply for recreational licenses, but the recreational license won’t do much good for other retailers until after the first harvest of cannabis.

According to the website Grow Weed Easy, it takes a minimum of 8½ weeks to have a smokable harvest of cannabis. Many factors determine the grow time, including plant strain, desired yield and growing method.

Grow Weed Easy said growing a plant from seedling to harvest can take anywhere from two months to six months or more to grow a marijuana plant from a seedling to the point where the plant is ready to harvest. Growing hydroponically indoors gives the grower flexibility to get a harvested plant in as little as two or three months. Growing outdoors generally takes longer than growing indoors and is more dependent on when seeds are planted and how long the local growing season is.

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