Ann Arbor Is The Top City in Michigan To Get Money From Marijuana of $1.4M!


Ann Arbor is still the commercial cannabis capital of Michigan, with more shops per capita than any other city in the state. And the results are seen. Tree Town receives the most of any city, township, or village in the state’s fiscal year 2022 from marijuana retail sales tax collections, at $1.4 million.

On the other hand, Washtenaw County receives about $2.1 million, the largest amount of any county in Michigan. Almost $60 million is being distributed to local governments from taxes collected on sales at 574 registered cannabis businesses in 2017.

While nearly $70 million is being distributed to the state’s education aid and transportation budgets. There are more marijuana stores per capita in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County than anywhere else in Michigan, with 27 in the city and 40 in the county as a whole, including 10 in Ypsilanti and 3 in Northfield Township.

This year, Ypsilanti is receiving $518,412 (an increase from last year’s $338,721) and Northfield Township is receiving $155,524 (an increase from last year’s $56,453) in tax income from marijuana sales. Ann Arbor will receive almost the same amount as last year, but the county will receive nearly $267,000 more.

When recreational marijuana use in Michigan was legalized four years ago, the city of Ann Arbor, home of the annual Hash Bash, faced an invasion of cannabis business owners looking to capitalize on the trend. The city opted to set a limit of 28 dispensaries in the city. Constraints imposed by the municipality continue to apply.

Lansing is second only to Ann Arbor in the number of legal pot shops (21 to be exact), and in annual sales ($1 million+). Ann Arbor officials have not yet chosen how to allocate this year’s $1.4 million in marijuana tax revenue, but they allocated last year’s $1.1 million to social-equity projects and those who have been negatively affected by the war on drugs.

Among the many initiatives aimed at assisting people of color and those with lower socioeconomic status are criminal diversion and deflection programs, record expungement, and programs to help them find gainful employment.

In April, City Administrator Milton Dohoney will propose a spending plan for the coming year, and in May, the City Council will vote on whether or not to adopt it. Dohoney has stated, “We are knee-deep in the budget process now,” and that it is, at this time, premature to speculate on how the funds may be allocated.

Cynthia Harrison (D-1st Ward), a city council member, has expressed a desire for the majority of the city’s marijuana revenues to be utilized to repair the damage done to generations of primarily Black and brown people by the drug’s widespread prohibition in the past.

Harrison referred to the arrests, prosecution, incarceration, and convictions of people for marijuana use as a racial justice issue and urged the city to engage in the neighborhoods and people whose lives have been affected by these events. She suggested implementing this principle by incorporating trauma-informed case management into the city’s new Supportive Connections deflection program.

This initiative’s goal is to provide social services to prevent socially vulnerable individuals from entering or reentering the criminal justice system. Mayor Nicole Brown was informed of the increased tax income number on Tuesday, February 28, and since then, the City Council has not had an opportunity to consider how to allocate the city’s estimated $518,000 windfall.

Leaders in Ypsilanti have contributed to the county’s Barrier Busters program and paid for criminal records to be expunged with marijuana tax revenue in previous years. Yet, they specified that some of this spending was meant to be one-time only when they drafted their budget last year.

There was concern over a budget deficit for the city last year, and that trend looks set to continue. City Manager Frances McMullan suggested that revenue from legal marijuana sales could help mitigate the looming budget shortfall, particularly in light of the anticipated rise in labor and materials expenses associated with local contracts.

The number of marijuana merchants in Northfield Township, north of Ann Arbor, has increased from one to three, with the addition of dispensaries in the Whitmore Lake region along U.S. 23. The township’s revenue from marijuana sales has nearly tripled as a result.

Last year’s nearly $56,000 was deposited into the township’s general revenue account and was not earmarked for a specific project, and Township Manager Mark Lloyd said that authorities have not yet decided how to spend this year’s $155,524.

He added that the township board will be holding budget workshops in order to adopt a spending plan before the month’s end. Crystal Campbell, a spokeswoman for Washtenaw County, said that authorities are currently debating how to spend the county’s almost $2.1 million allocation.

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