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Recreational Marijuana’s Impact on Northeast Michigan

Over the past couple of years, the stigma behind marijuana has changed drastically. Before, it had a significantly negative reputation, but now it’s sold in shops, and you can have it brought right to your car window.

That’s the case in northeast Michigan, as there are three different cannabis shops in Alpena alone.

“What a time to be alive for all this,” said Neighborhood Provisions General Manager Kevin Currier. “Everything we’ve kind of seen for generations past that has built up to now, and now within a matter of five years, a decade, we’re seeing a complete cultural shift, and that’s why it’s so important to do it right.”

It’s had an impact on taxes in Alpena, as the city collects a 10% excise tax from each dispensary in the area. This has allowed for financial growth of a relatively new consumer product.

“The hope is that the financial impact will just grow, and since it’s dog–eared for medical services, school services, policing services, it will help to ease the burden of, as we talked about, that cultural shift that’s happening,” said Currier.

As the stigma around marijuana continues to change and the negative connotation surrounding it continues to decrease, there’s hope that it won’t be such a controversial topic in the future.

“That is the hope of this; that it’s something that’s lauded and praised, and it’s just incorporated into your everyday life,” said Currier.