Wisconsin Is Affected By Changes in The Marijuana Moment in The Midwest!


Two of Wisconsin’s bordering states have started selling recreational marijuana since late 2019, and a third one is likely to follow suit soon. A lawfully functioning recreational marijuana shop is within an hour’s drive of three out of every ten Wisconsin residents over the age of 21 as of January 2023.

50% of Wisconsinites of legal age (approximately 2.16 million people) will be able to drive to a recreational dispensary when the zone is extended to a 75-minute trip, including everyone who lives in big cities like Milwaukee and Madison.

Illinois and Michigan both enacted laws legalizing marijuana in 2019, with Illinois’ stores beginning in January 2020 and Michigan’s first recreational dispensaries opening in December 2019. Since then, sales have started in 600 places in Michigan and over 100 locations in Illinois.

In the meanwhile, Minnesota lawmakers have approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons and are likely to do the same for recreational uses by the end of the year. Despite the fact that marijuana is still illegal to possess and use on a federal level as well as in Wisconsin.

It may become more and more difficult to stop residents of the state from getting easy access to marijuana if shops continue to spring up close to the state’s boundaries. In fact, according to recently released data from Illinois, tourists from neighboring states, such as Wisconsin, account for up to one-third of the state’s sales.

According to Michigan law, anyone who is over 21 years old and resides in the state may own up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or grow up to 12 plants at home. Recreational marijuana sales surged by roughly 30 times between January 2019 and December 2022, reaching their highest monthly total of $208.3 million.

An explanation for Michigan’s dramatic increase in recreational marijuana sales is the rise in the number of towns that permit its sale. In addition to the 6% state sales tax, Michigan additionally collected an additional 10% excise tax on recreational marijuana in the fiscal year 2021, bringing in upwards of $111 million (or around $11 per inhabitant of the state).

Up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 5 grams of concentrate, and 500 milligrams of marijuana in an infused product are legal for Illinois individuals who are 21 and older to own. Similar to Michigan, sales of marijuana for recreational use have risen quickly.

Illinois has a far more complicated tax system than Michigan. Recreational marijuana is subject to a 7% gross receipts tax, an excise tax of between 10% and 25% depending on the type of product, a 6.25% state sales tax, and up to 3.5% in local sales taxes.

On the legalization of marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes, the Wisconsin Policy Forum is neutral. But, by examining the shifting marijuana legalization landscape in the Midwest, we seek to provide context for the discussion over marijuana policy in our state. While Wisconsin still has to deal with many of the public health and public safety issues that may arise without any increased cash.

other states and towns are currently financially benefiting from marijuana sales. The market for marijuana has unquestionably shifted as a result of neighboring states’ acts, even though Wisconsin’s laws haven’t changed significantly. Both advocates and opponents of legalization should take into consideration these local changes when making their decisions in the legal and intellectual discussion.

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