Cannabis In Your Community

July 23, 2019

Most of us wondered when, if ever we might see stores, like PharmHouse Wellness legally and openly selling cannabis. Now they’re in our communities and neighborhoods and growing across the State of Michigan.

The health and well-being of a local community is of concern to many, no matter where you are in the world. Everything from social services, economic health, and local culture shape a community and businesses within communities play a role in all three of those categories. So, it’s understandable that people want to support businesses that benefit their community. 

So, how does cannabis fit into this equation? Well, provisioning centers are businesses. Any local business that circulates money throughout a community is providing an economic benefit to it, and the type of product or service being provided doesn’t really change this. 

Just like in any other industry, two businesses could provide the same product but give back to their community at vastly different levels. But before we dive deeper into that, let’s tackle some common concerns.

Some might think that a cannabis provisioning center opening up in the community means that everyone is going to start smoking pot, right? Well, no. The fact of the matter is that people already have been consuming cannabis. No matter where you are in the United States (or many other countries for that matter), people have been consuming the plant for decades, centuries really, regardless of having legal access to it. The only thing that a cannabis provisioning center changes is that those who choose to partake in cannabis now have a safe, tested, reliable, and taxed way of purchasing it. 

Another concern is that children and teens will consume cannabis now that it’s more readily available. Provisioning centers require receiving proper identification before each sale, and face extremely strict consequences if cannabis is sold to minors—fines and shutting down the business if they are found selling to a minor. In fact, it’s reasonable to expect that local provisioning centers could reduce the rates of cannabis use in young people. 

Provisioning centers check IDs, and street sellers don’t. 

So, can cannabis provisioning centers benefit your community? Yes! Here’s how: like anything else in life, cannabis is taxed. The better a provisioning center does, the more tax revenue the state and local community will see. Medical cannabis is taxed at Michigan’s standard 6%, while recreational cannabis is taxed an extra 10% on top of the standard 6% tax rate. This money goes to improving schools, roads, and other various things that benefit from tax dollars. 

Locally owned and operated businesses of any industry are far more impactful to a community than non-local chain stores. Cannabis is no different. By supporting a local business, money goes into the hands of people who live nearby, and that money can be spent nearby. Local businesses keep about 25 percent more money in their community than non-locals. This stimulates the local economy, providing an opportunity for greater growth for everyone within that community.

Some businesses also give back more generously than others. Local events, fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and social programs are all ways that a business can go above and beyond for those around them. When you’re choosing where to spend your money, it’s important to keep these things in mind. 

Even if you’re not in the market for cannabis or any other particular good, you probably know someone in your community who is. Consider asking them to shop local, and think about what their money does after they’ve spent it. Sometimes it can do a lot more good than you first might think. 

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Pharmhouse Wellness appreciates guest blogs like this one. If you’re interested in contributing let us know.

Thanks to Zac Palic, GVSU Class of 2020 for this blog.