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MiBiz: Barriers, opportunities persist in Michigan’s growing cannabis market

4 · 04 · 22

Michigan’s recreational cannabis market has experienced swift changes in the three years since 56 percent of voters statewide just said yes. 

While the early months in late 2019 and early 2020 saw a supply bottleneck as retail stores opened and commercial growers lagged behind, the market has quickly matured while bringing a host of new issues.

A recent MiBiz roundtable, sponsored by Grand Rapids-based law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, took a deep dive into emerging issues involving racial equity, ongoing barriers to enter the market, industry consolidation, company culture, and legislative proposals that have caused fierce division within the industry. The panel featured:

 
  • Robert Hendricks, senior counsel at Warner Norcross + Judd, which has a dedicated cannabis practice with 26 attorneys
  • Narmin Jarrous, chief development officer at Exclusive Brands LLC, a vertically integrated cannabis company with four retail stores in Michigan, including in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Muskegon
  • Casey Kornoelje, owner of Pharmhouse Wellness Co., a Grand Rapids-based medical and recreational retailer
  • Peter Marcus, communications director of Terrapin Care Station, a multi-state commercial growing company with Michigan headquarters in Grand Rapids
  • Denavvia Mojet, executive director of the Black and Brown Cannabis Guild, a nonprofit social equity advocacy group
  • John Price, vice president at Lockton Companies, a global independent insurance brokerage
  • Mahja Sulemanjee-Bortocek, founder of High Haven LLC, a vertically integrated startup operating in Michigan and Illinois
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