State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow Michigan’s 13 native tribes to open recreational marijuana businesses and receive a portion of taxes levied on sales.
The House legislation, which is expected to pass a committee on Tuesday, would allow tribal members to enter into compact agreements with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to be licensed to become growers, processors, transporters and testers. They would also have access to the state’s marijuana tracking system, called Metrc.
“Really, this is an issue that we’ve been trying to address for almost four years,” said Whitney Gravelle, chair of the Bay Mills Indian Community Executive Council, Recount The Detroit News. “When Michigan legalized cannabis in 2018, the tribes were left behind. That’s not usually the process for other states that legalized. … But from the time it was legalized in Michigan, we caught up our delay.”
Under the bill, tribal businesses would also be subject to a 6% sales tax and 10% excise tax, the same rates required of all other recreational marijuana businesses in Michigan. Like other municipalities in the state, the tribes would receive a portion of the tax proceeds so they could take “economic advantage of this burgeoning industry.”
“Completing the compact agreements will allow us to provide access to the tribes because they will essentially be recognized as a business in the same way as state-licensed businesses so that they can participate in the Metrc system,” Brisbo said. “They could source from state-licensed operators and all of their sales could be tracked as well.”