Recreational marijuana sales have reached $3.1 million during the first two weeks of Michigan’s legal industry, the state regulatory agency has revealed.

Just five stores have opened for trading thus far and they are all beset by chronic supply shortages as suppliers struggle to meet demand. Yet the operational stores have proved to be popular retail destinations that have attracted cannabis users from far and wide.

The state takes a 6% sales tax and a 10% special excise tax on adult-use marijuana, meaning it has generated $515,051 in revenue during the two weeks to Dec. 15.

The state has now issued 16 retail licenses, according to the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency, but some of them are for cities, townships, or villages that have decided to opt out of the scheme.

Around 1,400 of the 1,771 communities in the state have decided to prevent cannabis businesses from launching. Some of them are likely to allow stores to open once they have developed the correct local ordinances, but many are seemingly waiting to see how the industry progresses in the areas that have allowed sales to commence.

Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, said a chronic supply shortage means the state is at risk of running out completely, which would be a problem for medical marijuana patients. Sales of medical marijuana reached $269.5 billion between Oct. 1, 2018, and Nov. 22, 2019.

This week, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency recalled marijuana vaping products that failed new testing requirements for vitamin E acetate, the additive that that has been linked to an outbreak of deaths and lung injuries across North America.

A new study from the University of Michigan has found that one in five American teens has vaped marijuana in the past year. The university’s annual Monitoring the Future report always gains nationwide attention and this year it surveyed 42,531 students from 396 public and private schools across the country.

It showed that 20.8% of 12th graders reported vaping marijuana in the past year, as well as 19.4% of 10th graders and 7% of eighth graders. “The speed at which kids are taking up this behavior is very worrisome,” said Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the federal agency that pays for the large annual teen survey.

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