Michigan’s Continuous Cannabis Creativity
When it comes to the state of Michigan, the one thing that can never be said is that they are low on creative ideas. From bills established, to persuading those who are hesitant to get COVID vaccines, Michigan has been able to utilize the marijuana industry to help, serve, protect, and raise a whole lot of funds for its state coffers.
It was two years ago that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) established the state’s first Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program. This was one of those “oh, so perfect” ideas that allowed farmers, processors, and even colleges and universities the ability to grow, research, process, and get to work on utilizing industrial hemp. The program, as it continued into the 2020 growing season, had over 600 growers and over 500 processor-handlers registered and/or licensed onboard, and the market for industrial hemp experienced continued growth. Although the bill set a lot of parameters for hemp growers, it is shining the light on yet another positive path states can take once they legalize this industry – which, let’s face it, all states eventually will.
This also plays into the constantly growing sales figures that the cannabis industry is bringing to the state. The last data stated at the end of March shows that cannabis sales have grown 160% year after year, with no signs of slowing. In fact, the shortest month of the year, February, ended up being the most fruitful one for Michigan, with the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) showing that cannabis sales topped US $105 million in just that month alone. The MRA tracks sales figures for both medical and adult-use cannabis and reported that $38 million came from medical sales, while recreational sales outpaced that sector and ended up bringing in $67 million.
Want another million-dollar-idea that will not only help the state of Michigan during the pandemic, but also lead to an eventual increase in recreational sales? Well…the state dispensaries are now offering free cannabis to those people willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Let’s be honest: people are still wary. This pandemic threw everyone for a loop, and there are people still highly anxious about getting the vaccine. But this one dispensary, Greenhouse of Walled Lake in Michigan, that first thought up this idea – a promotion they are calling “Pot for Shots” – is absolutely determined to help people feel better and up the vaccination rate in order to get their Michigan communities immune. This is one special deal that thousands are taking. The only thing that needs to be done is for a person to bring written proof into the store showing that they received their vaccination. If they do this, they’re eligible for a free, pre-rolled joint in return for their efforts.
The owner of Greenhouse of Walled Lake said: “Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccination as we, as a community, battle this horrible pandemic.” And “Pot for Shots” is their way of showing commitment in assisting their community [in getting] back to normalcy.
The cannabis industry is a firm supporter of the safe and responsible use of cannabis, and hope that by doing this, more and more people will do the right thing in order to end this horrific pandemic. Will they also make sales for themselves? You bet. Therefore, everyone wins in the end.
Make no mistake, health officials are concerned about the amount of vaccine doubts out there because they know if not enough people get vaccinated, the pandemic will last longer and have more of a chance to mutate into new strands that could end up being far harder to treat. All people are not convinced; less than half of Americans said they will get the vaccine, and about a quarter have come out and definitively said they will not. (This data was gathered by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and shows that at these current numbers, not enough Americans are willing to get the vaccine for the pandemic to end.)
Michiganders are prioritizing the vaccine, and promotions such as this one are causing more and more people to vaccinate – which is the right thing to do. So…head out now, get that vaccine, and then sit back and enjoy your free, pre-rolled joint. You can relax knowing you have, most definitely, done the best thing for your health and the health of this entire world.