Coleman Advances Community Projects with Cannabis Tax Funds, Midland Holds Back

April 19th, 2024 Legislation & Policy Updates
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In Michigan, the cannabis industry is making significant financial contributions through state-imposed excise taxes, with more than $202 million collectively allocated to education and transportation in the recent fiscal year. Specifically, the state has gathered over $101 million for school funding and an equal amount for transportation projects from the 10% excise tax levied on all cannabis products.

Local cannabis businesses such as Emerald Fire Farms in Coleman are substantial contributors, with the farm recently paying over $59,000 in state taxes. Although Sanford's LaCannaville opened too late in 2023 to contribute to that year's tax roll, it is expected to participate in the 2024 allocations.

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency reports that 269 municipalities benefited from cannabis revenue this year, including 99 cities, 30 villages, 69 townships, and 71 counties. These funds are deployed towards various community enhancements. For instance, Coleman used the additional resources to improve city parks, introducing new playground equipment, a disc golf course, and a street sweeper.

Besides tax contributions, Emerald Fire Farms also supports local organizations and initiatives independently, including veterans groups, Midland County Pit Stop, Boy Scouts of America, and various local sports and youth programs.

Despite these contributions, the largest municipality in Midland County remains resistant to permitting cannabis businesses within its borders. Midland Mayor Maureen Donker noted that cannabis is not currently on the city's agenda. Residents seeking cannabis products are directed to neighboring towns like Sanford or Coleman or can opt for delivery services.

This stance has sparked criticism from some residents, including Julie Roehrs who argues that the benefits of cannabis, such as pain relief and mental health support, justify establishing a dispensary in Midland. She expressed frustration over the necessity for residents to travel to other towns for access, pointing to local opposition as a barrier to potential local benefits.

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