Everything You Need to Know About Michigan’s Marijuana Market

It seems like every other day, and there is a new, legal marijuana market popping up somewhere, somehow. However, that is not the case when it comes to the wholesome state of Michigan. In fact, and hindsight, Michigan might be one of the earliest adopters of the cannabis industry. The first to reap the benefits of the illustrious plant, Michigan turned itself into the Sweet Leaf Capital. 

As with every new industry, whether it be something as complex as technology or as simple as a plant, there will always be hesitant people and people who are flat-out bearish about the entire ordeal. But then you have those eager to jump at the opportunity. And without question, Michigan has reaped the rewards of being an early adopter.  Especially one as promising and opportunistic as the cannabis industry. From the legalization of Cannabis comes an abundance of economic activity and economic sub-sectors, like cannabis real estate loans, cannabis equipment financing, and much more. 

That is one point of view of how Michigan has utilized its bold move toward legalization. But of course, there are other aspects as well. Here is everything you need to know about Michigan’s Marijuana Market. 

The Market Keeps Growing

Of course, the first thing on anyone’s mind is, “how is the market doing?” Like many other states, cities, or countries that have legalized cannabis, Michigan quickly saw demand outstrip supply. Michigan’s recreational market grew at a record-fast pace.

In 2020 alone, the state of Michigan generated $400 million to $475 million in sales. Even with the onslaught of the pandemic, Michigan could still navigate the obstacles and maintain the hefty sales volume. 

This isn’t a fluke, and the sales aren’t expected to slow down. But in fact, they are expected to keep growing, with estimates putting sales numbers to reach $1.9 billion to $2.4 billion by 2024. That is almost five times the market growth rate. As more and more consumers, customers, and even market players transition from the illegal market of Marijuana to the legal one, these numbers and statistics are only expected to grow. 

A Need For Cash

High Life Farm is Michigan’s largest and oldest cannabis cultivator. High Life Farms owns and operates a 6,000-plant grow facility and striking deals with several converted licensing agreements with popular Cannabis plants. This need and urgency to increase the supply to meet the demand will, without a doubt, lead to more and more financing tools for this market. As cultivators, farmers, and dispensaries look to continue growing and expanding, they will look for ways to finance this growth. 

Currently, financial institutions like banks and funds are not allowed, even prohibited, to deal with cannabis firms. They are also not allowed to accept electronic payments, cash, checks, or any payment from cannabis businesses. Some cannabis entrepreneurs say this requires cannabis companies and individual professionals to have large-scale capital on reserve if need be. Currently, the cannabis industry is outside the financial system looking in. 

However, recent legislation being passed on the federal level could change that situation. If that were the case, cannabis business owners could apply for several forms of loans. We could see the birth of cannabis real estate loans, cannabis equipment lending, and other forms of cannabis working capital loans. This opening up to the cannabis industry will only fuel its potency and growth. 

A Friendly State 

The success of marijuana in Michigan, making it the sweet leaf capital, was not an overnight success or a fluke. The road to cannabis prosperity was long and bumpy. Michigan first legalized marijuana for medical use back in 2008. This early adoption and investment in cannabis paid off in the long run. Until today, Michigan is often called the closest to California in the Midwest. A point meant to compare an up-and-coming example to the ideal scenario. 

All this could not have been possible if the state of Michigan was not supportive of marijuana, its usage, and its legalization. Several CEOs of companies in Michigan lament the state’s regularly powerful performance in adapting to the times and accepting the benefits of marijuana. Some also credit Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency for the success that Michigan has had with the cannabis plant.

No matter how you slice it and dice it, Michigan has set an example, a blueprint for how to best go about the legalization process. It’s best to split the process into incremental steps and milestones. Then it’s best to galvanize the support of the entire state, not just the governing bodies. After all, the most prominent financiers will be the constituents of that state. Then pave the way towards recreational use and allow the market to partake in healthy competition. These are some of the crucial steps a state should take when considering the legalization of cannabis. 

The Bottom Line 

Cannabis is likely to have a massive future in several industries across the board. All around the world, cities, and countries are rushing toward legalization efforts for their reasons. Some are handicapped economically and can use the sweet leaf capital generated from the cannabis plant. Others are eager to experiment with the psychological and physical benefits of the plant and further enhance its medical capabilities. 

As for the Midwest state of Michigan, it was always big on cannabis. One might say the very first marijuana advocates. Their legalization efforts stem from 2008. It has been a long road filled with promise and prosperity. Of course, the boatloads of profits they have been able to sustain year in and year out are pretty good—especially considering that they have skyrocketed to a billion-dollar market. Ultimately, there is no debate that the future looks green for Michigan.

Not only is “Fauda” illiterate, dishonest, and tragically absurd. It’s incitement against Palestinians.

There is already an abundance of false information, hazardous propaganda, and insinuations in the Middle East. Fauda is capable of doing better. *Contains spoilers*

As an Arab, I am aware that many Israelis and viewers throughout the globe really think that the Netflix series “Fauda” offers an informed, if not “balanced,” perspective on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The series’ subtitle, “The human stories from both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict,” shows just this.

Unfortunately, the false belief that the show provides a realistic representation of Palestinian life and identity has far-reaching and harmful effects.

The same Israeli undercover commando team that successfully and contentiously carried out operations within the West Bank during seasons one and two now has a new theater of operations: Gaza. The team, whose members are trained to both assassinate and “fit in” and speak Arabic, takes part in an operation to free two Israeli children who Hamas has abducted.

Israeli and Egyptian forces have enforced a land, air, and sea embargo on the Gaza Strip since 2007. There aren’t many entrances and exits because the only other border is the sea. In the past 15 years, perhaps very few Israelis have visited Gaza. Few West Bank-based Palestinians have either, however. Does Fauda provide a unique glimpse into an essentially locked-off region?

The season’s authors believed they had fulfilled their need to be truthful by sometimes highlighting Gaza’s frequent power shortages. They demonstrated how unclean and filthy the water is there.

However, 38 percent of people live in poverty, which is worse than even the most dismal television screenplay could hope for. 54 percent of people experience food insecurity. Over 90% of the water is unusable, and 39% of young people are unemployed.

Even less than the most elementary setting for the actual event is the reality of life in Gaza. On the other hand, the authors seize every chance to highlight the radicalism in Gaza.

In one of the episodes, Doron Kavillio, the main character and the undercover unit’s head (by force of personality rather than by title), enters a store in Gaza while posing as a Palestinian. He starts by giving the business owner a cool English “Hi” before referring to the young woman as “habibti” (Arabic for “my love/my dearest”).

Indeed, we Arabs frequently use the term “habibi” in contexts other than what it means, but this is hardly ever directed towards a random person of the opposing gender, and certainly not in Gaza. That use of “habibi” is Israelism. Doron’s cultural indiscretion would have raised a flashing red light in the “real” Gaza, which would have been sufficient cause for him to be apprehended.

While waiting for Doron to exit the business, Eli and Sagi, two of Doron’s employees, are detained by a Hamas police officer after Doron becomes unduly too linguistically comfortable with the Gaza shop owner. They are traveling in a wrecked old automobile and are dressed in rough, filthy clothing. They identify themselves as West Bank traders, and Eli says he is getting married tonight in Gaza. In all honesty, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

First, it is impossible to measure the number of West Bank traders that visit Gaza in a good year; they are always the wealthiest and most well-connected businesspeople. Second, the notion of a West Bank guy being married to a Gazan lady is absurd and inconsistent because it no longer occurs due to the embargo. Thirdly, isn’t it tragically ludicrous that Israel would let the trader’s buddy to attend the wedding as well? That is simply excessive.

It is understandable that the series’ enormous worldwide audience could lack the knowledge and resources to understand Gaza’s reality, but this just makes the filmmakers’ guilt, who don’t even attempt to tell the truth, all the more outrageous.

It gives off the sense that Palestinians are capable of proper use for theatrical content but not for anything that resembles an accurate portrayal. Perhaps Fauda needs more guidance from Palestinians.

This brings me to the root of my main issue with the program. The Israeli commandos are portrayed by Fauda’s writers as being personally and operationally principled at every opportunity. They focus on their intense concern for protecting the civilians of Gaza and their extraordinary efforts to keep their promise to the family of the Palestinian informant who helped them. No Palestinian women or children are depicted being shot or killed by them.

However, Fauda is waging a war against the truth. The evidence is overwhelming that the reverse is true. In regard to only one of the Israel-Hamas wars, the 2014 Gaza war, 2251 Palestinians were murdered, of which 1462 were civilians, 551 were children, and 299 were women, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Israelis need to be aware of the blatant truth—that their army is to blame for all of these civilian fatalities—and to understand the difference between those killings, their perpetrators, and Fauda’s idealized warriors.

The Israeli military veterans whose testimonies Breaking the Silence compiles describe how entire neighborhoods have been virtually erased from the map and soldiers have been ordered to, and I quote, “shoot anyone in your proximity,” if it’s too difficult to trust Palestinians and international humanitarian organizations. Read the statements made by members of Israel’s own administration, such as Avigdor Lieberman, who served as the country’s defense minister at the time and said in 2018, “You have to realize, there are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip.”

One of the ugliest, and potentially deadly, sequences, in my opinion, is when an Arab physiotherapist makes an attempt to assassinate the director of a Shin Bet branch in the West Bank as he begins a treatment session in an Israeli hospital toward the conclusion of the third season.

It’s important to analyze this plot: Arabs make up 17% of Israel’s medical professionals, 24% of its nurses, and 47% of its pharmacists. Arab medical professionals working in Israel have never once violated the Hippocratic oath and injured a patient.

The idea of using a persona and a narrative that portrays Arab employees of the Israeli healthcare system as dishonest and aggressive attackers is beyond absurd. It can only exacerbate existing interpersonal distrust. The promotion of such an image is utterly dishonest and misleading; what’s more, it feeds the voices who consistently denigrate Israel’s Arab inhabitants, legislate their disparity, and instigate against them, including those at the top of Israel’s government.

I hope the authors and creators take their obligation to reflect a more accurate social and political reality more seriously. They should turn away from the barely covert anti-Arab rhetoric. And that they are now able to show Palestinians the same regard for human life that they repeatedly failed to show for the fundamental intricacies of Arab culture.

There is no need to further validate biases and widen ignorance in a place that is already brimming with deadly propaganda, defamatory language, and false information. Fauda is more capable.