Looking through the smoky haze of the future, the Great Poobah of Pot discerns the following as likely actions and events in the year ahead for Michigan and cannabis in 2020.
The crystal bong which magically appears in the Cannalex Law Office from time to time reveals wonderous likely changes ahead in the legalized commercialization of Michigan marijuana.
- The 2-year protection period for MMFLA licensed businesses will be repealed. It will be reduced to one year. Be prepared. Your Great Swami predicts that on November 1, 2020 the Marijuana Regulatory Agency will begin to accept applications for Adult-Use licenses from everyone after the Department of Licensing and Regulation determines that additional Adult-Use licenses “are necessary to minimize the illegal market for marijuana in Michigan, to efficiently meet the demand in Michigan for marijuana and to provide for reasonable access to marijuana in rural areas”. Mark it down. You can see it coming by recent Agency actions.
- The number of municipalities willing to allow Adult Use enterprises will increase dramatically during the next 12 months. The property development which could occur in and tax revenues raised for those municipalities, for this now legitimate business for 9.9 million possibly customers, is too good to ignore. Even the conservative City of Grand Rapids is jumping into it in the next few months. Old outdated buildings are rehabbed; marginal agricultural lands converted and used; collateral benefit for other municipal businesses. Too good to pass up. Look for at least 400 municipalities “in” by the end of the year.
- Here’s possibly the biggie. Marijuana comes off Schedule 1. You can see the groundwork being laid. Tobacco products are now available at retail sale for only those 21 years of age and older. Every politician will now feel comfortable voting to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 and deschedule it entirely. Sales only to those 21 years and up. If you want to get re-elected, jump on the weedwagon.
- Consumption establishments, a/k/a smoking lounges, will explode onto the scene as more entrepreneurs become creative and municipalities realize the economic and financial benefits. No alcohol there yet but give it a few years. In the meantime, what about putting in e-gaming and betting parlors now that gambling is legal in the State of Michigan? Can you see a weekend during the football season when people are in the lounge enjoying football games, betting online and lighting up? How about putting in some golf simulators or maybe dart boards with dart leagues? MahJong tournaments? Ripe opportunities for creative minds once this gets going. The words “Hey man, far out” could have real meaning while playing Pebble Beach on the golf simulator. There are no ideas too outrageous when it comes to cannabis in 2020!
- The number “420” will hit the three-number daily lottery this year.
- IRC 280(e) will be repealed. Hallelujah.
- One of the major cities in Michigan will host a “Fly Me To The Moon” temporary event marijuana festival.
- A major professional sports league will permit its players to partake of medical marijuana and be exempt from suspension.
- Attempts at unionization of workers will start. Why else would the State provide in its new marijuana regulatory rules a “labor peace agreement” requirement? Watch for the AFL-CIO to approach workers at grow facilities; the retail clerks union hand out cards in hopes of unionizing retail workers and maybe even the Teamsters with the security transporters and delivery people. Does the State know that union organizing activity is coming and that’s the reason it has proposed these rules to require licensees to enter into pacts with unions to prevent picketing of facilities? Picture it. Union reps and employees walking the picket lines, just like the old days in the auto industry.
Keep in mind, these are our best guesses about the future and not yet a reality. If you want to send us your own thoughts, feel free and at the end of the year, we’ll look back at cannabis in 2020 and see how many hit the winner buzzer.