“Pure Michigan” may evoke visions of beaches and cherry pie to some, but for cannabis consumers, it means clouds of smoke and bargains on weed.
The state’s brand is clear in the online social media site Reddit, which features a page dedicated to Illinois marijuana users — who often make longing references to Michigan’s cannabis scene.
“Why can’t Illinois be like Michigan?” wrote one commentator.
“Never shopping in IL again,” wrote another.
“Appreciate the hospitality in Michigan. Nothing even close to this good in IL.”
The two states are the only ones in the Midwest that have legalized recreational or “adult use” marijuana, at almost the same time — Illinois in January 2020, and Michigan the month before that. While Illinois has a social equity plan that Michigan lacks, the Wolverine State has surpassed the Prairie State in many ways.
Despite Illinois having a larger population of nearly 13 million, compared with Michigan’s 10 million, Michigan had slightly higher sales of medical and recreational cannabis combined in 2021, with both states near $1.8 billion.
Michigan had more than 1,500 adult-use businesses as of July, while Illinois had only 21 operating growers and 110 retail stores — though more are on the way.