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Marijuana Industry Advocate Unimpressed With Recreational Rollout

Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Robin Schneider
Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Robin Schneider

The state’s launch of its adult-use marijuana program was “not rational,” “rushed” and “not well thought out,” Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Robin Schneider said last week as she predicted marijuana flower could run out soon.

“From a national drug policy perspective, this is not what a rollout of a responsible adult-use program looks like,” Ms. Schneider, who helped legalize recreational marijuana in the state, said on Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record” on Friday. “Unfortunately, I think Michigan is going to become a national model of how not to rollout an adult-use program.”

Ms. Schneider and her group have criticized the state’s move allowing for the transfer of some product from the medical to the recreational side under certain conditions. She said the group has a data scientist that has showed the marijuana flower, a popular product for purchase, could run out in two months.

“I think they need to run that faucet down to a trickle and reassess where our inventory is at and maybe scale that back a little bit to make sure we don’t run out of medicine for medical patients,” Ms. Schneider said.

David Harns, spokesperson for the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, said the agency is monitoring its data to determine impacts of the transfers and the best path forward. He said the agency has not seen data from Ms. Schneider’s group.

Ms. Schneider is also advocating for testing changes, as she said currently there is perfectly good medicine being destroyed because of an agency rules that could be changed.

“At this point we need to get as many plants in the ground as quickly as possible,” she said. “I would say we are least 10-times behind where we need to be in production.”

Ms. Schneider added that she was not impressed with the roughly $1.6 million made in sales in the first week of recreational marijuana.

“When you look at that from a national perspective, that is what Colorado did in its first day,” she said. “We should have done much better than that. And had the state stuck to its original plan, and begun sales in spring of 2020, we would have had time to build the infrastructure and create the supply needed to launch recreational sales. That is not anything to give us bragging rights.”