The Winners of the Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2022

Congratulations to the winners of the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2022, the BIGGEST Cannabis Cup in High Times history! The competition was fierce, which is no surprise since Michigan is one of the most quickly growing cannabis markets in the country. Over 30 participating dispensaries offered the People’s Choice judge’s kit this year, from Crystal Falls and Traverse City to Kalamazoo and Detroit. This year’s competition also made history as the largest pool of judge participants that we’ve seen so far.

The judges were provided with a captivating selection of unique entries to the market. Michigan cannabis producers have made quite the name for themselves by creating some of the most impressive cannabis products in a wide variety of categories, both for recreational and medical consumption.

Keep an eye on Cannabiscup.com to see where the High Times Cannabis Cup: People’s Choice Edition will appear next!

AU Indica Flower

First Place: Society C – Spritzer

Courtesy of Society C

Second Place: Pro Gro – Garlic Breath

Courtesy of Pro Gro

Third Place: Pressure Pack – Super Pure Runtz

Courtesy of Pressure Pack

Medical Indica Flower

First Place: Local Grove – Brain Stew

Courtesy of Local Grove

Second Place: Pro Gro – Cherry Lime Runtz

Courtesy of Pro Gro

Third Place: Flower Power – Sherb Cake

Courtesy of Flower Power

AU Sativa Flower

First Place: Hypha – Tropical Runtz

Courtesy of Hypha

Second Place: Pro Gro – Lunar Lemon

Courtesy of Pro Gro

Third Place: Dutch Touch Genetics – Lilac Diesel

Courtesy of Dutch Touch Genetics

Medical Sativa Flower

First Place: Pro Gro – Lunar Lemon

Courtesy of Pro Gro

Second Place: Local Grove – Ice Cream Cake

Courtesy of Local Grove

Third Place: Heavyweight Heads – Sunfuel

Courtesy of Heavyweight Heads

AU Hybrid Flower

First Place: FLWRpot – Tropicana Cherry

Courtesy of FLWRpot

Second Place: Kai Cannabis – Tropicanna Cherry

Courtesy of Kai Cannabis

Third Place: Local Grove – Runtz

Courtesy of Local Grove

Medical Hybrid Flower

First Place: Local Grove – Runtz

Courtesy of Local Grove

Second Place: Pro Gro – Moonbow #112

Courtesy of Pro Gro

Third Place: Canna Boys – Zhits Fire

Courtesy of Canna Boys

AU Non-Infused Pre-Rolls

First Place: Canna Boys – Zhits Fire Cannonz

Courtesy of Canna Boys

Second Place: Hyman – Soñando Handcraft Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Hyman

Third Place: Pressure Pack – Zerbert Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Pressure Pack

AU Infused Pre-Rolls

First Place: Element x Pro Gro – Lunar Lemon Live Resin Joint

Courtesy of Element

Second Place: North Coast x Pressure Pack x Mitten Canna – Rainbow Melonz Rosin Donut

Courtesy of North Coast

Third Place: Packwoods – Animal Cookie Infused Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Packwoods

Medical Pre-Rolls

First Place: Canna Boys – Zhits Fire Cannonz

Courtesy of Canna Boys

Second Place: North Coast x LSF – Electric Peanut Butter Cookie Joint

Courtesy of North Coast

Third Place: Pressure Pack – Jet Fuel Gelato Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Pressure Pack

Solvent Concentrates

First Place: Element x Pro Gro – Lunar Lemon Live Resin

Courtesy of Element

Second Place: Uplift’N – Half & Half Raspberry Parfait Solvent Diamonds & Live Resin

Courtesy of Uplift’N

Third Place: Society C – Gummiez Live Resin Badder

Courtesy of Society C

Non-Solvent Concentrates

First Place: Glorious Cannabis Co. x Superior Solventless – PebbleZ Live Rosin

Courtesy of Glorious Cannabis Co.

Second Place: Fresh Coast x Hypha – Tropical Runtz Live Rosin

Courtesy of Fresh Coast

Third Place: North Coast x Pro Gro – Rainbow Beltz Rosin

Courtesy of North Coast

Distillate Vape Pens

First Place: Church x Pressure Pack – Super Pure Runtz Distillate Vape

Courtesy of Church

Second Place: Rove – Skywalker Indica Distillate Vape

Courtesy of Rove

Third Place: The Clear – Grapevine Vape Cart

Courtesy of The Clear

Non-Distillate Vape Pens

First Place: Binske – Puna Orange Live Resin Cart

Courtesy of Binske

Second Place: North Coast x Kai – Orange Push Pop Rosin Vape

Courtesy of North Coast

Third Place: Element Pure Live x High Level Health – Grape Breath Live Resin Cart

Courtesy of Element

Rec Edible: Gummies

First Place: Afternoon Delite – Blue Lemonade Gummies

Courtesy of Afternoon Delite

Second Place: KIVA – Wild Cherry Camino Gummies

Courtesy of KIVA

Third Place: Choice – Cherry Berry Gummies

Courtesy of Choice

Rec Edible: Non-Gummies

First Place: KIVA – Milk and Cookies Terra Bites

Courtesy of KIVA

Second Place: High Life Farms – Red, White & Boom Royal Chocolate Bar

Courtesy of High Life Farms

Third Place: Banned – Oatmeal Cream Pie

Courtesy of Banned

Medical Edibles

First Place: Afternoon Delite x Kola Farms – Starberry Gummies

Courtesy of Afternoon Delite

Second Place: UBaked – Blueberry and Maple Bar

Courtesy of UBaked

Third Place: Banned – Oatmeal Cream Pie

Courtesy of Banned

Topicals, Tinctures, Capsules + Sublinguals

First Place: RISE – RSO + OG Kush Live Resin Sublingual Syringe

Courtesy of RISE

Second Place: Chill Medicated – Extreme X Pain Relief Body Rub

Courtesy of Chill Medicated

Third Place: Michigan Organic Rub – Vegan Capsules

Courtesy of Michigan Organic Rub

Thank you to our partners and sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Bronze Sponsor

Exclusive Brands – Dispensary Partner
JK Logix
Rove
Pressure Pack
North Coast
High Life Farms
Chill Medicated
Hyman
Covert Cups
LivWell
Alvarez Cultivation
Nirvana Center
Superior Selections
Exclusive Brands

Official Intake Partner

The post The Winners of the Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2022 appeared first on High Times.

From the Archives: Hemp Tour ’90 (1990)

By Steve Bloom

“The bus was busted!” HIGH TIMES Executive Editor John Holmstrom informed me as I walked into the office, only hours before my train to Toledo was scheduled to leave. It was March 28th—just four days before the Hash Bash, the main event on the spring Hemp Tour. I was planning to catch up with the bus in Toledo, Ohio, then hitch a ride to Lansing, Michigan, for a rally on March 30.

“What happened?” I asked. John had spoken to Ben Masel, the Hemp Tour’s primary organizer. “They tried to search the bus in Bowling Green [Ohio]. Someone was arrested and they towed the bus away,” John explained. “That’s all I know.”

The white Hemp Tour school bus had made the rounds during the previous fall’s Hemp Tour.

It wasn’t exactly psychedelic, but it certainly stood out. I was worried that the bust would grind the three-month Hemp Tour to a halt. I was also concerned that one of my friends had been arrested. With this sketchy information in mind, I left the office, walked over to Grand Central Station, and boarded my train. Next stop, Toledo.

March 30

Before leaving, I call a number in Toledo that was given to me by Doug McVey, who along with Rick Pfrommer and Debbie Goldsberry (one of the Hemp Tour’s key coordinators) wrote up the Hemp Tour ’90 Organizer’s Manual. A woman named Lara answers and promises that someone from the Tour will meet me at the train station when I arrive at 7 AM. I find that hard to believe. But believe it or not, a familiar white VW van is waiting for me as I walk out of the Toledo station that rainy morning. Ben is driving, and Monica, Shan, and Kevin are crowded into the back. Sort of a guest of honor, I’m given the passenger seat.

I quickly learn that the bus is in the possession of Debbie and members of Red Fly Nation, a hot new band from Kentucky that joined the tour in Lexington a week ago. But there’s another problem: The bus won’t run. Fortunately, Amazin’ Dave (from last year’s HIGH TIMES psychedelic bus trip to Ann Arbor) is on the scene, fixing the transmission so the bus can at least make it to Ann Arbor by the 1st.

So what happened in Bowling Green? Shan Clark, a veteran of the fall Tour, explains: “We had to park pretty far away from the rally, near a school. A cop named Cowboy, who wears a cowboy hat around Bowling Green, watched us unloading our material. Paul [Troy] was asleep on the bus while the rally was going on, and two cops knocked on the door at about 2:45 PM. They said they were coming on the bus. Paul said, ‘No, you’re not. I’m afraid you need a search warrant.’ They threw him out of the bus, onto the ground, and handcuffed him—when we saw him, he had a bloody nose and his hands were purple from the cuffs. They impounded the bus and then went ahead with a search. When we got to the tow yard the next day, the bus was trashed. They ransacked our bus, went through all our bags, and found two seeds. That’s been the low point so far.” Paul was freed on $100 bail (he pleaded no contest and accepted a year’s probation); the bus was fined $10 for a crack in the windshield and charged $50 for the tow. As far as the rally on the campus of Bowling Green State University was concerned, 500 people came to hear the news about how hemp can save the world and why marijuana should be legalized.

As we drive north to East Lansing for today’s rally, the rain subsides. Somehow, Ben finds Valley Court Park, where the rally is being held. Large black-and-white banners proclaiming HEMP FOR THE OVERALL MAJORITY OF EARTH’S PAPER * FIBER * FUEL * FOOD * PAINT * VARNISH * MEDICINE AND TO LIVE LONGER, OR THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT-CHOOSE ONE and the simpler HEMP FOR VICTORY (as well as a huge American flag) are already hanging from a baseball cage. These signs can only mean one thing: Jack Herer is here.

The burly, gruff-voiced author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes preceded our arrival by half an hour. His team, which includes Maria Farrow, Willie, Nelson, J.S. and Brenda, quickly posted the signs and are already selling books, stickers, and hemp clothing. In a particularly impassioned fashion, Shan introduces Jack to the spring break crowd. Waving a copy of The Reign of Law, which was printed on hemp paper, Jack ignites sparks with this fiery commentary: “We only have to be committed to the ideal that no human being on earth will ever go to prison again for a natural substance. People aren’t aware that the government has outlawed vegetables. There should be no laws against natural things. We have to drive a stake through the heart of prohibitionism.”

NORML’S National Director, Don Fiedler, also speaks, as do Ben and several locals. A band named 47 Tyme follows the speakers. This causes a problem. Seems that just beyond the park is a senior citizen’s residence. After receiving a few calls about the noise, the police decide to make their presence felt. Ben engages in conversation with them, then is told that someone has to accept the charge of disturbing the peace. Like a good Hemp Tour trooper, Ben takes the fall instead of the local organizers. He’s driven to the stationhouse, pays a $25 fine, and returns to the rally. No big deal. But it’s another reminder that there’s always a price to pay in the rally business.

March 31

It’s Hash Bash weekend, and Freedom Fighters from all over the country are beginning to converge on Ann Arbor. The first sight we see when we leave our hotels is a shiny purple bus in the parking lot. We decide to investigate. Inside is the West Virginia Freedom Fighter contingent, led by Roger the shaggy-bearded driver. Kind bud they call “hackweed” is being passed around. A coughing siege ensues. Now we know why they call it hackweed.

The morning papers bring good news. “Judge OK’s U-M Pot Rally Permit-Says U-M Violated Free Speech,” reads the front-page headline of the Ann Arbor News. In October, the University of Michigan granted NORML a permit to hold the Hash Bash at its traditional location—on the campus’ Diag. But in February, the school rescinded the permit. Fortunately, Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald Shelton recognized the impropriety of that decision and restored the permit literally at the 11th hour. “The University’s mishandling of the NORML permit application completely undermines its contention that any danger presented by the NORML rally is ‘clear’ or ‘present,’” the judge ruled.

But first things first. Saturday’s reserved for the first annual Freedom Fighters convention. Roger’s purple bus carts dozens of FFs to the picnic-style meeting, where spliffs are smoked, state chapter heads are elected, Chef RA’s rasta-riffic eats are chowed, and networking and partying are generally accomplished.

April 1

The Hash Bash begins at noon—without amplification. But thanks to the boys in Red Fly Nation, a PA is set up. Herer, Fiedler, Masel, Hash Bash organizer Rick Birkett, and Gatewood Galbraith, who introduces himself as the next governor of the state of Kentucky (he’s running in the 1991 race), all speak. Red Fly Nation plays a few songs before the PA is cut off at 2 PM. Even a midday downpour and numerous arrests can’t dampen the spirit of the 5,000-plus ralliers.

After the rally concludes at 6 PM, the scene shifts to the Heidelberg, where the HIGH TIMES contingent stages a high-energy benefit concert for NORML, featuring the Soul Assassins, the Nozems, and anti-folk artists Bobby Belfiore and Dave Herrera. The revelry continues through the night. Once again, the Hash Bash is a blast.

Courtesy of High Times

April 2

The backdrop for the Hash Bash was today’s pot referendum in Ann Arbor. In 1972, the city established a $5 fine for marijuana use and possession. Though the $5 fine was repealed the next year, it was written into Ann Arbor’s charter in 1974. Nine years later, another attempt to repeal it was voted down by a 61 percent majority. Now, in 1990, a referendum to raise the fine to $25 for a first offense has made it to the ballot. Hopefully, the spirit of the Hash Bash will bring voters out. A vote of no on Proposal B would keep the fine at $5.

Meanwhile, Jack, Don, and Gatewood leave for Detroit early this morning to appear on the morning show Kelly & Company. A 10 AM rally at Wayne State University is next on the agenda. (Herer’s crew handles that one.) Back in Ann Arbor, we’re moving rather slowly. Our only hope is to get to Detroit in time for a 1 PM legalization debate at the University of Detroit’s Student Union. We fill up the bus and hit the road.

Everyone on the panel is wearing a suit except for Jack, who’s wearing his tan hemp shirt (he never leaves home without it) over a tie-dyed t-shirt. Zolton Ferency, a Michigan State prof who’s running for the State Senate on a legalization platform, is there along with Rep. John Conyers and several others. Ferency quotes the following National Institute on Drug Abuse figures (1988): deaths from tobacco, 346,000; alcohol, 125,000; alcohol and drugs mixed, 4000; cocaine, 2000; marijuana, 75 (HIGH TIMES would tend to question this figure). Directing himself to Conyers, Ferency says:

“Deal with the drug problem as a public-health problem. Keep it out of the criminal justice system. It is not going to be solved by police, prosecutors, criminal courts, or prisons.”

Conyers, who is black, explains that he’s “against the way William Bennett runs the anti-drug strategy because it’s racist. When you focus on crack, you focus on blacks, by and large. The profile of the average drug user is white, middle class, and suburban. I want to change the laws that deal with the prosecution of drugs. Why don’t we get a justice system that really works—in which we get the drug dealers and the government out of it, rather than making it legal? I put treatment as a higher priority than making it all legal.”

Herer hammers away with the hemp argument. “The greatest tax on earth is the harm to the environment that the fossil fuels and synthetic fibers are causing to this planet,” Jack offers. “There is one single plant on earth that replaces 100 percent of our need for any of those—something that can be grown by American farmers, not mined by oil companies. We’re talking about hemp—the safest therapeutically active substance known to mankind.” At this point, Conyers picks up a copy of The Emperor Wears No Clothes and leafs through it.

From the audience, Ben issues his chess challenge to Drug Bizarre William Bennett or any prosecutor, narcotics officer, or anyone else who believes that marijuana is harmful to the intelligence. “I’ve been smoking it for 23 years,” he says. “If it causes permanent brain damage, I must be in bad shape—so prove it.”

Fiedler walks to the podium and addresses Conyers, who serves on several House committees that deal with drug issues. “We’re not asking you to legalize marijuana at this point, but if you’re holding hearings…”

Conyers interrupts. “Would you like to be a witness?”

“I’d love to,” Fiedler says.

“I would love to discuss the matter with you—here and in Washington,” Conyers adds.

Afterwards, Ferency tells me about his plan to legalize pot. “I’m not for taxing it. We don’t tax liquor, we sell it. In Michigan, you’re allowed to make 200 gallons of wine for personal use; I’m suggesting the same thing for marijuana. You want to grow your own pot, fine—it’s the same as wine. I deliberately came up with a plan that deals with merchandising marijuana in Michigan.

“I did that in response to our Drug Czar’s suggestion that it couldn’t be done. It can be done—very easily.”

Ferency ran for governor in 1966. He headed the state’s Democratic party for five years and was the liquor commissioner 30 years ago. He’s a lawyer by trade. “I’m the state’s best known liberal. I’ve been all over the road. I’ve been at this for 40 years. I know how it goes. I was in the anti-war movement, all the movements. What you need is middle-of-the-road presentations. People are convinced that we’re losing the War on Drugs by just reading the daily papers. They’ll listen to anybody who comes along and tells them, ‘Here’s one way we might be able to get out of this mess.’ That’s been my experience.”

Ferency’s opponent has the support of the governor. “It’s a tough struggle, it’s uphill. The governor wants that seat. All my opponent will have to do is sit in it. The governor’s raising $400,000 for her. Four hundred grand for a state legislative seat? Unheard of!” If you’d like to contribute to Zolton Ferency’s campaign—the primary is in August—send a donation to: Ferency for Senate Committee, PO Box 6446, East Lansing, Ml 48826.

Following the debate, we’re invited back to an off-campus party house. That evening, Herer is feted at a book reception at Alvin’s, a club near Wayne State.

April 3-4

Tuesday’s a rare off day for the Hemp Tour. I’m hanging out with Jack, who usually goes his separate way from the bus. He spends hours on the telephone, doing radio interviews, taking care of business. He’s a bundle of creative energy and never seems to relax.

Jack loves to see himself in print, whether he’s doing the writing or is being written about. Today’s Detroit Free Press runs a profile of Jack entitled, “Rebel With an Illegal Cause.” He’s pleased. Reporters seem to be gravitating toward the hemp issue; Jack’s book and his tireless efforts to promote the plant are the primary reasons why.

But there’s bad news, too; Ann Arbor voters, by a 53 to 47 percent majority, have decided to raise their town’s pot fine to $25.

A call from Fiedler, who’s returned to Washington, swings the mood back in a positive direction. Rep. Conyers has asked that Jack testify before the House Judiciary Committee. It’s cause to celebrate. Jack lights up a bowlful and kicks back for a few moments.

“We’re gonna win this thing, Bloom,” he barks. “No fucking way we’re gonna lose.”

Jack takes particular pleasure in converting people to his hemp message. One convert is David Hamburger, an otherwise conservative fellow who met Jack last November at the “Just Say Know” rally in Athens, Ohio. Marvin Surowitz, the organizer of the Detroit events, invited him to Athens. “Before I met Jack, I was totally on the other side—talk about quick political conversions,” says David, who is a private investor and former Bush supporter. “After the conference, I saw things differently. Cannabis, used in reasonable amounts, is an excellent natural relaxant and should be legalized. I smoke pot to increase my productivity and to take away tension headaches. But, to be honest, I find marijuana politics much more stimulating than marijuana.”

Around midnight, Jack begins mobilizing his troops for an early-morning trek to Cleveland—the next stop on the Hemp Tour. He’s scheduled to appear on The Morning Exchange TV program at 8 AM. Jack designates me as the driver. It’s an excruciating ride, but we make it right on time. A middle-aged man named Bernie Baltic is responsible for setting up the morning debate. He deposits us in a hotel and rushes Jack to the studio. Except for a change of tie-dyes, Jack’s dressed the same as he was two mornings ago. We turn the TV to channel 5 and await the debate.

The first question asked is: “Can hemp really reverse the Greenhouse Effect?” Jack rattles off all the glorious uses for hemp. The anti-drug advocate weakly challenges Jack’s hemp information and then begins reciting the standard litany about marijuana: it kills brain cells, it’s a “gateway drug,” and so on. Jack flicks these arguments away like so many marijuana ashes. From my point of view, the debate’s not even a contest.

There’s hardly any time to catch a few minutes sleep before the noon rally at Cleveland’s Public Square. Surrounded by tall office buildings and buffered by traffic, the location is perfect: No one can complain about the noise. And no one does. The rally runs five hours—Red Fly Nation plays for nearly two—without a hitch. What makes this event special is the turnout—not so much the numbers (about 400 total), but the mix of people who stop by for a quick listen. “In many ways, this has been our most successful date yet,” Ben says. “We were in front of the whole city, not just a student crowd—we had business people coming through, it was a much more mixed reception.” Even blacks, who are notably absent on the Tour, were in attendance. Thank Red Fly Nation’s funkadelic sounds for that.

John Hartman, Ohio NORML’s North Coast coordinator, who along with Ohio NORML leader Cliff Barrows organized the rally, is also excited about the “variety of people” who turned out. So where do people who attended the rally go from here? “I want them to write their representatives, take some of our literature and xerox it, pass out 100 copies here, 100 copies there—just get it out,” John says. “There’s nothing illegal about going door-to-door or standing on a street corner and handing pamphlets out. It’s a standard way of soliciting people—and the cheapest. Right now we don’t have the dollars, so it just comes down to getting out in the streets and informing people—leafletting or making calls or taking opinion polls, any contact with people.”

John invites the Hemp Tour back to his house to party and spend the night. Without people like John, the Hemp Tour would be forced to run up some pretty high hotel bills. Considering that the Tour runs on whatever it makes in sales of t-shirts and assorted products, this hospitality is invaluable.

Courtesy of High Times

April 5

Today’s headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer reads, “Hemp is Given a New Twist—Fair Promotes Pot’s Many Uses.” In the article, a botanist from Case Western Reserve University admits he doesn’t know much about hemp other than its fiber is tough and it grows at a phenomenal rate. He suggests Flax, which is used to make linen and linseed oil, has similar properties to hemp.

During the ride down to the next stop—Kent State University—with Ben and Cliff, Ben says, “I want to reach the farm press and the farm researchers on this tour—make a particular effort to touch base at the agriculture schools, find the professors who might be motivated to take a closer look, and meet the kind of people who can convince the agriculture departments to give them permits to study the plant.”

Ben Masel is a professional activist. He not only runs the Hemp Tour, he also publishes The Zenger, an underground newspaper, out of his home base of Madison, Wisconsin. Ben’s style is more academic and less charismatic than Jack’s. He’s an expert polemicist and quite a good storyteller (his country twang and ironic outlook reminds me of Arlo Guthrie). Ben was the HIGH TIMES’ 1988 Counterculture Hero of the Year. I ask him to tell me when he first became politically active.

“One turning point was during the fourth grade, when we did Inherit the Wind as a class play. I was the teacher who was on trial for teaching evolution,” he laughs. “In the sixth grade, we were the first kids in the country to be bussed to integrate a black school. This was in Teaneck, New Jersey. By the 10th grade, we had been resegregated. While we were all in the same building, the classes weren’t integrated anymore. This led us to occupy the principal’s office in the spring of 10th grade. We held it for three days, and won most of our 13 unconditional demands. The principal resigned on the third day.

“Upon hearing about the shootings at Kent State, we got together a meeting of 150-200 students in the auditorium after school and we decided to call a strike. Next we heard that the Student Council wanted to join us. Then the principal came by and offered to cooperate with us if we called it a teach-in instead of a strike. A couple of days later, the Board of Education wanted to can the principal because one of the speakers at the teach-in had referred to ‘that motherfucker Nixon.’”

Appropriately, we arrive in Kent as Ben’s discussing his reaction to the events that devastated this small college town 20 years ago. Ben has a lot of personal history connected to Kent State University. He joined the May 4th Coalition in the late 70s in its efforts to prevent the University from building a gym over part of the area where the 1970 shootings occurred. They lost that battle. Perhaps today would be another.

The Hemp Tour was unable to obtain sponsorship from a student group for the rally. The Progressive Student Network balked out of fear that it would lose its registration if a legal problem arose. In addition, the school only allows use of a PA system in the plaza outside the Student Center for one hour a day—from noon to 1 PM. At 12:30, Ben plugs in the PA and begins to speak into a microphone. A crowd of about 100 congregate. By 1 PM, the local police are about to close in. Debbie warns Ben that they mean business, but he keeps talking until the police pull the plug at about 1:25. Ben races over to the PA and plugs it back in. The police grab him; the battle is on.

Ben clearly resists. They pull his hair. It takes four cops to lead Ben to their car, which is waiting about 200 feet away at the curb. The crowd chants, “Bullshit!” and “Let him go!” The cops don’t listen. In the chaos, a female frosh named Sharon Burns gets caught up in the activity. She and Ben are both arrested and taken to the nearby police station.

Sharon is charged with disorderly conduct and released on her own recognizance. Ben is hit with three charges: obstructing offical business, resisting arrest, and assault (they claim he kneed a cop in the groin). At first, we’re told that bail will be $1,250. After we make the necessary arrangements to pay a bail bondsman and drive six miles to Portage County, where Ben has been taken, we’re told the bail has been raised to $12,500. It’s fairly common to require 10 percent of the bond, but because of Ben’s long “rap sheet” and the fact that he’s from out-of-state (no doubt his previous run-ins at Kent State are also a consideration) they refuse to reduce the bond—at least until the morning. So Ben has to spend the night in jail.

Meanwhile, the Hemp Tour people are waiting for Debbie and me at a gallery on Water Street. Later on, Red Fly Nation and some local bands are supposed to play across the street at J.B.’s. There’s some anger over Ben’s decision to get arrested, but some good smoke mellows everyone out.

Water Street, it turns out, was where the calamitous events at Kent State began almost 20 years ago to the day. On May Day, 1970, Nixon announced that the US had invaded Cambodia. That night students poured out of J.B.’s and other clubs and into the streets; then they lit a bonfire and began smashing store windows. The next day, the ROTC building on the Kent State campus was firebombed. Two days later, the National Guard opened fire on the students.

Alan Canfora was there. He was shot in the wrist. He stood 50 feet in front of his friend, Jeff Miller, who took a bullet in the head. “As the guard got to the top of the hill and they stopped and they started to fire, I heard the guns go off and took a step away from them,” he tells me. “I thought, ‘Well, just in case they’re firing live ammunition, I’ll get behind a tree.’ I got behind one at the last possible second before a bullet went through my right wrist. It was the only tree in the line of fire. I’m convinced that that tree saved my life, because it was hit by several bullets and I could see many other bullets zipping through the air and ripping through the grass.”

Canfora puts today’s confrontation with the police in perspective when he explains: “Kent State remains now as it has been during the last 20 years—a very repressive institution which is controlled by the Republican interests in Ohio.”

April 6

Ben has a 9 AM hearing. A public defender named Bill Carroll shows up and asks for a reduction of the bond to $5,000. The judge agrees to that, plus he allows for 10 percent payment. Debbie counts out $500 and Ben is free.

Ben doesn’t exactly get a hero’s welcome when he returns to our Kent crash pad. There’s a noon rally slated for Athens in Southern Ohio at Ohio University. Herer has gone ahead and will run the rally. Cliff, Ben, and I again travel together; the bus is the last to leave.

For the first time on the Tour I get to see some pretty country. Southern Ohio is full of rolling hills. We take a few small roads to get there, with Ben doing the navigating. Does he regret the arrest? “Only that I resisted,” he says, proudly noting that it was his 106th arrest.

We get to Athens just as Jack is wrapping up. He applauds Ben’s arrest—’That’s how Ben teaches the kids,” Jack says. Plus, it got good press.

That evening, the University’s history and political science departments are sponsoring a debate/teach-in. It’s Jack and Gatewood versus Lois and Robert Whealy, a husband and wife prof team. The debate turns out to be quite a hoot.

The profs aren’t all that opposed. One point is well-taken: Don’t look for simplistic answers to our environmental problems. Gatewood proclaims, “I don’t apologize to anyone anymore about smoking pot. Any society that can accommodate alcohol and tobacco has room for pot.”

Later that night, Vicki Linker invites us all to her backwoods digs for a well-deserved and desperately-needed party (the type where dessert is served first). Red Fly Nation sets up in the living room and jams (I even get to play percussion on my fave songs—”Do the Feelin’” and “Strictly Wet”). Gatewood unknots his tie and opens his collar. Maria rolls the ugliest joints ever. Ben tries to recruit me to leave immediately for Indianapolis, where Farm Aid is scheduled to start in a few hours. He wants to leaflet the concert. Good idea, bad execution (the van barely made it to Vicki’s). Everyone sleeps it off.

April 7

Last stop for me—Columbus, Ohio. Everything I’ve been told to expect about the Columbus rally is right. This is one stop where there was little or no advance work, and it shows. The rally, tucked away on the campus of Ohio State University, fizzles. Hey, the Hemp Tour was due for a dud.

I’m ready to head home.

Tomorrow, Dayton hosts a rally, and then it’s off to a swing through Indiana (the Tour runs through May). Jack is packed and ready to roll. “C’mon, Bloom, you’re driving to Dayton,” he yells. Sorry, Jack, I’m booked on a flight back to New York. But he has me thinking. Should I spend just a few more days on the Hemp Tour?

At that moment, the bus pulls up; it’s being tailed by a cop. Apparently, Dean hopped a curb and is getting written up. Hey, you know what? This is one nutty Hemp Tour.

High Times Magazine, July 1990

This article appears in the July 1990 issue of High Times. Subscribe here.

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Michigan Officials Question High THC Weed Lab Results

Questions arise after Michigan regulators filed formal complaints against one of the state’s top cannabis testing laboratories last month. Cannabis that tests over 28% THC, and at times over 40%, is subject for an automatic audit, and regulators say the lab results aren’t adding up.

Formal complaints were filed by the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) in May against Viridis Laboratories, one of the leading lab testing companies in the state, but the lab is in turn firing back with its own countersuit. The CRA noted discrepancies in Viridis Laboratories lab results since December 2020, according to formal complaints the CRA filed on May 19.

Often consumers question the THC content found in lab results, however THC level alone is not a reliable indicator of potency in all cases. Conversely, there is enormous pressure to drive up THC levels across the board as it is one of the biggest drivers of cannabis sales.

“Potency inflation is an ongoing, longstanding, widely known issue across cannabis in the U.S. right now in legal markets … ” Lev Spivak-Birndorf, founder and chief science officer for Ann Arbor-based PSI Labs, told MLive. “I call it the cycle of potency inflation: people want high potency, so then stores are under pressure to try and deliver that … and that drives growers to seek labs that give the highest results, and thus, we have this rampant lab shopping that we have going on.”

Per CRA policy, agents will audit results for any flower that tests over 28% THC. And according to the complaints, Viridis samples hit this range 8.9% of the time, which is reportedly higher than most labs across the state.

Viridis was also subject to the largest cannabis recall in the state’s history. The MRA recalled an estimated 64,000 pounds of cannabis valued at almost $230 million on Nov. 17, 2021, based on court filings. However, later, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray lifted the recall for a major fraction of the cannabis that was recalled.

But Viridis filed its own formal complaint against the CRA in the state’s administrative court, while litigation is ongoing. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce backed up Viridis by filing an amicus brief in support of Viridis that said the CRA recall “unconstitutionally exceeds the scope of the agency’s legislatively approved mandate.”

Viridis officials say the claims are “meritless” and that they’re targeted because the CRA wants a more even playing field with the limited number of testing laboratories.

“These CRA allegations against Viridis are from last August and continue to be baseless, meritless and totally detached from science, facts and data,” Viridis CEO Greg Michaud said.

“We intend to defend our business against these false claims during the court process and show the vindictive and retaliatory nature of the CRA’s actions which are clearly designed to cause maximum disruption and damage.

“Court-ordered proficiency test results that Viridis is in possession of, which the CRA had been withholding, will directly contradict these findings, and we’re confident the truth will prevail when all facts come to light. We hope these legal proceedings will pave the way for more transparency, accountability, and reforms at the CRA. Our hope is that the CRA can one day fulfill its true mission of promoting patient and product safety instead of unfairly targeting Michigan businesses trying to grow, compete and create jobs.”

MLive pointed out one instance when a purported 40% THC sample was challenged. A dispensary was displaying flower with over 50% total cannabinoids and 40.3% THC. The Spott, a licensed safety compliance lab in Kalamazoo, ran its own test and reached a very different outcome. According to the Spott, the flower contained about 26.4% THC, compared to the 40.3% that the label claims.

Both cases of litigation are ongoing.

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Company Sues Detroit Over New Recreational Pot Ordinance

A Michigan cannabis retailer has filed a lawsuit against the city of Detroit over a newly passed ordinance that took effect last month.

The Detroit News reports that the suit was “brought by four House of Dank dispensaries—each operating under a unique name,” asserting that the ordinance passed by the city council runs afoul of Michigan’s adult-use recreational cannabis law that was approved by voters in 2018.

According to the Detroit News, the ordinance, which officially took effect on April 20, “doesn’t allow medical marijuana establishments to be eligible to obtain a recreational license for five years.”

Per the Detroit Free Press, the plaintiffs assert that “state law specifies that once municipalities opt into allowing cannabis businesses within city limits, they cannot prevent medical marijuana licensees from obtaining recreational licenses,” and that the ordinance is also problematic because it “prohibits ownership interest in more than one such retail license, meaning even if a medical marijuana business owner gets a recreational license, they could only have it for one store location.”

Should the city adhere to that ordinance, the plaintiffs argue that “medical facilities would not be given a shot at getting a recreational license until 2027, when the medical businesses would have likely already closed their doors from lack of sales,” the Detroit Free Press reported, adding that the plaintiffs have asked “the court to intervene and stop Detroit from prohibiting dispensaries that sell both medical and recreational cannabis.”

The lawsuit represents just the latest setback in Detroit’s effort to belatedly implement an adult-use cannabis market in the city. 

While a majority of Michigan voters approved a ballot measure legalizing recreational pot use for adults in 2018, the state’s most populous city opted out.

In 2020, a year after the first recreational dispensaries opened in the state, Detroit’s city council approved a plan clearing the way for adult-use sales to begin in the city.

The Detroit News reported at the time that the plan sought to “ensure residents will have an equitable opportunity to participate in an industry that’s estimated to yield $3 billion in annual sales,” ensuring that “legacy Detroiters be able to purchase city-owned land at 25% of the fair market value and that all application fees be slashed to 1% of the total cost.”

But last summer, a federal judge ruled that ordinance was likely unconstitutional because it awarded “an unfair, irrational and likely unconstitutional advantage to long-term Detroit residents over all other applicants.”

That forced the Detroit city council to start from scratch once again. Last month, the council passed the latest ordinance, setting the stage for the city to begin processing applications from would-be retailers.

But the latest lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, asserts that the city is “attempting to give certain preferred newcomer applicants an artificial head start by preventing existing medical marijuana provisioning center licensees in the city from even applying until at least 2027—which clearly violates both the letter and spirit of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation Marihuana Act,” the Detroit News reported.

Michael DiLaura, the general counsel for House of Dank, told the Detroit News that “existing [medical cannabis] stores employ thousands of people, pay taxes, paved the way for this industry, and now they’re being legislated out of business unlawfully.”

DiLaura said that there “are a number of stakeholders that feel they were wronged by” the ordinance.

“It’s like the old taxi medallion or golden ticket,” DiLaura said. “That’s just not right and not the best way to design inclusion and opportunity. These stores should be open; We should encourage more people to get into the business but prioritize those that paved the way.”

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Michigan Regulators Say No to THC from Hemp

Regulators in Michigan announced on Friday that a plan to allow cannabinoids derived from hemp to be processed into THC would be withdrawn from consideration. The announcement came only two days after the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) was renamed and given new authority over the state’s hemp industry under an executive order issued by Governor Gretchen Witmer earlier this year.

Under proposed rules announced by the MRA in January, hemp growers would have been permitted to sell their crops to licensed cannabis processors, who would then use a laboratory process to convert cannabinoids such as CBD into THC. The agency, now named the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, announced on Friday that the plan would not be approved.

“After receiving a significant amount of public comment regarding safety concerns and the lack of scientific and public health data related to the conversion process outlined in the proposed industrial hemp rules … the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has withdrawn this request for rulemaking,” the agency announced on Friday.

The plan would have given Michigan’s hemp farmers a new outlet for their crop, opening the state’s regulated cannabis market to products containing hemp-derived THC. But the proposal would also have created a more competitive marketplace for licensed pot growers, who face more stringent and expensive regulations than hemp farmers.

Cannabis Industry Against Proposal To Allow Hemp THC

The plan was opposed by representatives of the licensed cannabis industry, including Denise Policella of the Cannabis Business Association of Michigan, a trade group made up of licensed cannabis growers, processors and retailers. She told online news site MLive that the process to convert hemp cannabinoids into CBD produces unknown byproducts that may be harmful to consumers. Although the main crux of the opposition has been based on expressed concerns for consumer safety, the attorney and co-founder of the trade group acknowledged that other factors were also involved.

“Of course, there’s a business component to it,” said Policella.

Opponents of the plan also noted that Michigan’s small hemp farmers would probably not be the beneficiaries of the proposal. Instead, larger and more efficient hemp cultivation operations from out of state would likely provide the biomass for conversion to THC.

“The industrial hemp portion of this was never going to come from Michigan,” Policella said. “Michigan can’t compete with Kentucky and North Carolina on hemp. They’ve got a year-round growing season that we don’t have. They have 100,000-acre hemp farms that we don’t have in Michigan.”

After the proposed rules were announced earlier this year, Policella said the plan would “induce a huge amount of hemp importation from all over the country into Michigan, which will drop the price of marijuana and hemp down to almost nothing.”

“The profit margins on marijuana products will be so low that this will, in turn drive the dispensaries out of business,” Policella said in February.

Friday’s announcement that the proposal to allow hemp-derived THC products into the licensed cannabis market was made only two days after Whitmer’s executive order to reorganize the state’s cannabis regulators. Under the reorganization, the MRA became the CRA and assumed regulatory duties for hemp processors, distributors and retailers. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to oversee hemp cultivation in the state.

“This administrative change will help Michigan continue to lead the country in its approach to cannabis by growing the hemp and marijuana economies, creating jobs, and investing in local communities,” CRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said in a statement from the agency. “The new CRA will pick up where the MRA left off—continuing to establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to cannabis.”

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Michigan Regulators Say No to THC from Hemp

Regulators in Michigan announced on Friday that a plan to allow cannabinoids derived from hemp to be processed into THC would be withdrawn from consideration. The announcement came only two days after the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) was renamed and given new authority over the state’s hemp industry under an executive order issued by Governor Gretchen Witmer earlier this year.

Under proposed rules announced by the MRA in January, hemp growers would have been permitted to sell their crops to licensed cannabis processors, who would then use a laboratory process to convert cannabinoids such as CBD into THC. The agency, now named the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, announced on Friday that the plan would not be approved.

“After receiving a significant amount of public comment regarding safety concerns and the lack of scientific and public health data related to the conversion process outlined in the proposed industrial hemp rules … the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has withdrawn this request for rulemaking,” the agency announced on Friday.

The plan would have given Michigan’s hemp farmers a new outlet for their crop, opening the state’s regulated cannabis market to products containing hemp-derived THC. But the proposal would also have created a more competitive marketplace for licensed pot growers, who face more stringent and expensive regulations than hemp farmers.

Cannabis Industry Against Proposal To Allow Hemp THC

The plan was opposed by representatives of the licensed cannabis industry, including Denise Policella of the Cannabis Business Association of Michigan, a trade group made up of licensed cannabis growers, processors and retailers. She told online news site MLive that the process to convert hemp cannabinoids into CBD produces unknown byproducts that may be harmful to consumers. Although the main crux of the opposition has been based on expressed concerns for consumer safety, the attorney and co-founder of the trade group acknowledged that other factors were also involved.

“Of course, there’s a business component to it,” said Policella.

Opponents of the plan also noted that Michigan’s small hemp farmers would probably not be the beneficiaries of the proposal. Instead, larger and more efficient hemp cultivation operations from out of state would likely provide the biomass for conversion to THC.

“The industrial hemp portion of this was never going to come from Michigan,” Policella said. “Michigan can’t compete with Kentucky and North Carolina on hemp. They’ve got a year-round growing season that we don’t have. They have 100,000-acre hemp farms that we don’t have in Michigan.”

After the proposed rules were announced earlier this year, Policella said the plan would “induce a huge amount of hemp importation from all over the country into Michigan, which will drop the price of marijuana and hemp down to almost nothing.”

“The profit margins on marijuana products will be so low that this will, in turn drive the dispensaries out of business,” Policella said in February.

Friday’s announcement that the proposal to allow hemp-derived THC products into the licensed cannabis market was made only two days after Whitmer’s executive order to reorganize the state’s cannabis regulators. Under the reorganization, the MRA became the CRA and assumed regulatory duties for hemp processors, distributors and retailers. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to oversee hemp cultivation in the state.

“This administrative change will help Michigan continue to lead the country in its approach to cannabis by growing the hemp and marijuana economies, creating jobs, and investing in local communities,” CRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said in a statement from the agency. “The new CRA will pick up where the MRA left off—continuing to establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to cannabis.”

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Michigan Group Launches Petition Drive For Psychedelic Legalization

An activist group based in Michigan has received the go-ahead from state election officials to start gathering signatures for a psychedelic legalization initiative to make it onto this year’s ballot.

The group, known as Decriminalize Nature Michigan, said on Monday that the state’s Board of Canvassers “certified that the Michigan Initiative for Community Healing could begin collecting the required 340,047 signatures needed by June 1st to qualify for the November ballot.”

According to a press release from the group, the initiative “would decriminalize the possession and cultivation of ‘Natural plants and mushrooms’, reduce penalties for controlled substances that currently include life sentences and lifetime probation, and create pathways for religious organizations and hospitals to develop psychedelic assisted mental health and ceremonial services.”

Julie Barron, co-director of Decrim Nature Michigan, said in the press release that psychedelic assisted therapy offers a “rare ray of hope for people who have been suffering.”

Along with both the national and Michigan-based chapters of Decriminalize Nature, the coalition behind the initiative also includes People for Healthy Choices Michigan (PFHC) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP).

“Young people across the country have been calling on our elected officials for safe and sensible drug policies to be implemented for decades,” said Kat Ebert, an SSDP board member. “This is an opportunity for the people of Michigan to make history by coming together to pass policy that’s centered around compassion instead of criminalization.”

The activists submitted the proposed initiative to Michigan ballot officials last month. If the initiative were to be ultimately approved by voters in November, it “would decriminalize personal use, possession and growth of psychoactive substances for adults 18 and reduce penalties for all controlled substance use and possession in Michigan,” while also permitting “religious organizations and entities designated by hospitals certified by the state health department to produce and sell entheogenic plants,” according to MLive.com.

Myc Williams, the other co-director of Decriminalize Nature Michigan, said at the time that initiative amounts to “true decriminalization.”

The initiative also includes a host of other drug reforms, including the removal of test equipment from what the state defines as “drug paraphernalia.”

Williams said that people in Michigan “who choose to use drugs can be charged with another crime to test their substance.”

“In a time of heavy fentanyl overdoses, it’s really important for people who do use drugs to know what they’re consuming regardless of their legality from a public safety perspective,” Williams said then. “The state supports harm reduction in the distribution of Narcan and fentanyl strips, which fentanyl strips are technically illegal. There’s a contradiction there and we’re just clearing it up.”

After a decade in which dozens of states and cities ended their prohibition on recreational pot use, psychedelics are emerging as the new frontier in the legalization movement, with lawmakers and policymakers increasingly open to their potential therapeutic value.

This month in Connecticut, lawmakers pushed forward a bill that would devote $3 million for psychedelic-assisted therapy research in the state.

Although it would not legalize psychedelics, it would establish a program through which qualifying patients could receive MDMA-assisted or psilocybin-assisted therapy from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

The legislation would also establish a regulatory panel that would offer recommendations regarding the “design and development of the regulations and infrastructure necessary to safely allow for therapeutic access to psychedelic-assisted therapy upon the legalization of MDMA, psilocybin and any other psychedelic compounds.”

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Cannabis Consumption Lounge To Open in Michigan in First-Ever Move

According to a press release, a new business called Hot Box Social announced that it is the first licensed adult-use consumption lounge to open doors in Michigan. Michigan is now the seventh state in the U.S. to allow consumption lounges, but the way the businesses are regulated varies.

While Liberty Ann Arbor set out to be the first consumption lounge in Michigan, a representative from the dispensary told High Times that the licensing process has been in the works, but the lounge is not yet open. Vehicle City Social is another similar business, but is open to patients and caregivers only.

The consumption lounge will open in Detroit, Michigan’s Hazel Park neighborhood, between 9 Mile and 10 Mile roads. Hot Box Social is owned by Troy, Michigan-based Trucenta, which also operates the award-winning Breeze adult-use provisioning center in Hazel Park as well.

Cannabis products consumed at Hot Box Social, however, are required to be delivered by a licensed provisioning center (dispensary.) But the lounge will provide advisors on-site to help guide guests during consumption. 

Hot Box Social will open later this month for private events. The venue is located at 23610 John R in Main Street Hazel Park. The team behind Hot Box Social plans to create a relaxed gathering space for meetings and special events where cannabis can be consumed in a safe and supportive environment.

“It’s an exciting time,” Nowfal Akash, Trucenta Chief Information Officer, told High Times. “When it comes to marijuana, you can either take a wait-and-see approach or you can lead, and Trucenta and Hot Box Social are happy to be number one as the state’s first licensed consumption lounge. We’re beginning with private and ticketed events and will open to the general public later this Summer.”

For now, capacity is limited to approximately 200 people for private indoor events. The 3,000 square feet indoor lounge will be open to private events first, and to the public later this year. The team plans to open a 5,000 square feet back patio later in the summer as well.

“We are honored that Michigan has awarded us the state’s first license for a consumption lounge,” Akash said in a statement. “Our plan is to first use the space for corporate, social and special events. Come summer, we’ll start scheduling events so the public can experience Hot Box Social with consumption-friendly activities like social gatherings, educational opportunities, and arts-focused activities.” 

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency began accepting applications for all adult-use licenses, including for consumption spaces, on November 1, 2019. A few other businesses are trying to do the same. Liberty Ann Arbor cannabis provisioning center in Ann Arbor also set out to become the first consumption lounge in Michigan after gaining one of the first licenses. Ann Arbor, for instance, plans on issuing 28 licenses for that type of business model. Detroit listed 35 available licenses for consumption establishments last year.

The lounge has been two years in the making, complete with sliding glass doors that can air out a smokey room quickly, Detroit News reports. This beautiful, yet functional design could allow for enough light but also allow for a venue that can air out easily.

“Our hope is that Hot Box Social will be used to bring a new experience for companies hosting brainstorming meetings, friends who are gathering for private parties, and one-of-a-kind fundraisers to raise money for nonprofit organizations,” Akash added.

The amount of doses that patrons can receive will start out small, almost a microdose, but probably grow to a larger initial dose.

“The FDA has a certain recommendation about 5mg as an initial dose. We want to cut that in half and probably float around the 2-2.5mg range for a first-timer just to be safe,” Akash said, according to a WXYZ Detroit report.

Currently, the team behind Hot Box Social doesn’t know if they will be charging patrons for the space usage, but for now, they will be opening up a kitchen that will offer food.

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Cannabis Tax Funds Sent to Municipalities and Counties in Michigan

On March 24, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that $42.2 million in cannabis excise tax funds will be given to various cities, townships and counties in Michigan. These funds were collected during the 2021 fiscal year, with eligible municipalities and counties receiving funds for having retail stores or microbusinesses within its boundaries.

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency Executive Director Andrew Brisbo shared that he’s proud to see how the state’s cannabis income is contributing to local communities. “It’s rewarding to see that the agency’s balanced regulatory approach is effectively protecting consumers while still allowing Michigan businesses to grow and thrive,” said Brisbo. “The funding provided directly to local governments—and the thousands of jobs created across the state—show that Michigan is leading the way in the cannabis industry.” Each municipality or county is eligible to “receive more than $56,400 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness located within its jurisdiction.”

The $42.2 million cannabis tax funds were collected from a total of 374 cannabis business licensees across the state, and will be divided between 62 cities, 15 villages, 33 townships and 53 counties. State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said in a press release that these funds will be given to the chosen municipalities and counties soon. “The Michigan Department of Treasury will distribute these dollars as soon as practical to eligible local units of government,” said Eubanks. “The doubling of this year’s payment amounts will have a larger impact on local government budgets.”

Through the state’s 10% cannabis excise tax, over $111 million was collected in 2021 with a total of $172 million available for allocation. Additionally, $49.3 million was set aside for the School Aid Fund for K-12 education, and $49.3 million went toward the Michigan Transportation Fund.

In 2021, $10 million of the state’s cannabis excise tax funds were sent out to 100 municipalities (38 cities, seven villages, 21 townships and 38 counties). “The team at the Marijuana Regulatory Agency did a tremendous job getting the adult-use licensing program established and operating efficiently,” said Brisbo in 2021. “Infusing over $28,000 per retailer and microbusiness into local government budgets across the state is very impactful and shows how strong and successful the industry is becoming.”

The state is also welcoming its first cannabis consumption lounge in Hazel Park, called Hot Box Social, owned by Trucenta. “We are honored that Michigan has awarded us the state’s first license for a consumption lounge,” said Trucenta Chief Information Officer Nowfal Akash. “Our plan is to first use the space for corporate, social, and special events. Come summer, we’ll start scheduling events so the public can experience Hot Box Social with consumption-friendly activities like social gatherings, educational opportunities, and arts-focused activities.”

In the meantime, the High Times Cannabis Cup People’s Choice Edition has also returned to Michigan. While the competitor submission window has passed, judge kits will be available to the state starting on April 16. “While the majority of America is working from home, or not working at all, we now have the opportunity to test and rank quality cannabis products from a wide range of producers from the comfort of our own home to help crown the best in each state,” said Mark Kazinec, High Times Director of Competitions & Events. “For brands, this is the best way to get your product into the hands of hundreds of new consumers and get real feedback, especially in a time of no live events. For Judges, this is the best job you’ll ever have, and the best way to see which products work best for you.”

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Mike Tyson Takes Tyson 2.0 Cannabis to Michigan

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is bringing his cannabis brand to Michigan through an exclusive partnership with vertically integrated operator Common Citizen, which will offer the Tyson 2.0 line at its licensed dispensaries statewide. Through the agreement announced last month, Common Citizen, Michigan’s largest full-service cannabis operator, will serve as the state’s exclusive cultivation partner for Tyson 2.0.

“Bringing Tyson 2.0 products to Michigan with a partner like Common Citizen upholds our promise to share the many wellness benefits of this powerful plant to those who need it most,” said Mike Tyson, chief brand officer for Tyson 2.0. “Before I found cannabis, I used to be a very different person. This plant has changed me for the better, and I’ve made it my mission to share this gift with fans here in Michigan and across the nation.”

Tyson 2.0 launched in October 2021, first offering pre-rolls and cannabis flower in one-eighth jars in California through a partnership with Columbia Care, one of the nation’s largest cannabis producers and retailers with licenses in 18 US jurisdictions. Since then, the brand has expanded to Nevada, Massachusetts and Colorado.

In Michigan, consumers will be the first in the nation to experience two of Tyson’s favorite specialty cannabis strains, “Knockout OG” and “Pound for Pound Cake” in one-eighth jars of flower and one-gram pre-rolls. Tyson 2.0 products will initially be available at Common Citizen’s dispensary locations in Detroit, Flint, Battle Creek and Hazel Park, and will expand to more than 200 retail outlets in the state.

“Common Citizen is excited to partner with a living legend like Mike Tyson, who shares our passion for promoting the many benefits provided by cannabis and our mission to unite people through the positive power of cannabis,” said Michael Elias, Common Citizen CEO. “This historic partnership embodies Cannabis for Humanity and serves the unique, individual needs of all our customers. We are honored Mr. Tyson chose Common Citizen to launch his safe, affordable and high-quality cannabis products across Michigan.”

Common Citizen is a privately owned and operated company, focusing on cannabis cultivation, processing, retail sales and wholesale distribution for both the medical and adult-use market in Michigan. The company grows more than 60 strains of cannabis at its cultivation facility in Marshall, MI, producing a full line of products including bulk cannabis flower, prepackaged flower, pre-rolls and mini pre-rolls.

“The partnership between Tyson 2.0 and Common Citizen further extends our scale and strengthens our commitment to bringing premium quality cannabis that’s indicative of Mike’s seasoned taste to fans nationwide,” said Tyson 2.0 CEO Adam Wilks. “Common Citizen prides itself on crafting premium cannabis for the people, and Mike’s vision speaks to just that—greater access to quality cannabis products through a range of price points and consumption methods.”

Tyson’s Second Round in the Cannabis Ring

As the company name suggests, Tyson 2.0 isn’t the legendary boxer and entrepreneur’s first foray into the realm of legal cannabis. In 2017, he launched a line of cannabis products called Tyson’s Ranch and planned to open a 40-acre cannabis ranch in Southern California under the same name. However, Iron Mike took a rare knockout in the venture.

“Tyson Ranch failed due to bad management and just lack of cannabis knowledge,” Wilks told Westword in November. “Unfortunately, management wasn’t what it should’ve been. Which is why for Tyson 2.0, I’m here, and I’m excited to launch Mike’s cannabis brand for real this time.”

Tyson 2.0’s partnerships with leading cannabis brands continued this month with the announcement that the company had reached agreements with several companies to market co-branded cannabis products and accessories. Under an agreement with Futurola, an Amsterdam-based global brand founded in 1996, Tyson 2.0 plans an exclusive line of premium rolling and smoking accessories. Another partnership with Click will produce a Toads Breath cannabis mouth spray using Click’s fast-acting nano-emulsion formula and discrete, portable spray dispenser. El Blunto will offer a premium cannabis cigar containing 1.75 grams of top shelf Tyson 2.0 Runtz cannabis flower, hand rolled in a tobacco-free, all-natural hemp wrap. Additionally, a deal with Stündenglass will create the Tyson 2.0 x Stündenglass Gravity Hookah, a contactless smoke delivery system featuring a patented design and packaged in a transportable, craft storage box, while a partnership with G Pen will produce the Tyson 2.0 x G Pen Dash, an innovative personal vaporizer.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Futurola, Stündenglass, G Pen, CLICK and El Blunto to bring the newest and most innovative cannabis products and devices to market,” Tyson said in a March 8 statement from the company. “Tyson 2.0’s latest collabs combine our signature and most popular strains with our partners’ premium technology, catering to a broad set of individuals and meeting the cannabis consumption methods they seek.”

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