This is the latest in a series of guest blogs featured on TSR.
I often avoid the right hand lane, simply because there seems to be more holes. As a Michigander, we have select roads and their potholes etched in memory. We have our preferred routes for smart and safe driving. Avert. Bypass. Dodge.
In Michigan, potholes can be an emotional topic fueled by what seems like endless inaction. Beyond complaints, Michigan’s Department of Transportation has set-up a claims process for pothole victims. And now, it has become political. Potholes are the poster child for comprehensive infrastructure proposals.
Smartly, Democratic nominee for Governor Gretchen Whitmer is using potholes to highlight her infrastructure plan for roads, bridges, and water systems. Often appealing to the emotional upset and call for action related to potholes, Whitmer is proposing an aggressive program that will fuel additional economic activity for the state while setting it up for long term success.
But, who will pay? On the list of payers, adult cannabis consumers. Michigan’s projected medical cannabis market is $837 million, with $74 million in tax revenue by 2021. With another 11 patient ailments authorized to be treated, combined with an upcoming adult legalization vote, Michigan tax revenue from cannabis is expected to skyrocket. With the forecasted passing of Proposition 1, the recreational market will be born. The total cannabis market is expected to exceed $1.3 billion by 2021. Add the industrial production of hemp, and Michigan’s total tax revenue related to Proposition 1 should run optimistically to 200 million on a 2-3 billion state industry.
Often, such projections can be simple conjecture. However, what is very clear – tax dollars related to cannabis and hemp will fuel a greater infrastructure plan and support local road and school programs in Michigan. Good politics to align progress with pain, pot, and potholes.
Acknowledgement: to Michigan NORML Board Member Rick Thompson for cleverly using the term “Pot and Potholes” in the recent NORML meeting. Rick Thompson is also the founder of Michigan Cannabis Business Development Group.