This city has the most cannabis retailers in the state

Ann Arbor has the most stores, at 24; Bay City is second at 22

Photo of Angela Mulka
FILE - Steven Vechanko, a shift lead at CannaBay Recreational & Medical Marijuana Dispensary, center, assists Amanda Bastian of Bay City, left, as she makes a purchase Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at the dispensary on N. Sherman Street in Bay City.

FILE - Steven Vechanko, a shift lead at CannaBay Recreational & Medical Marijuana Dispensary, center, assists Amanda Bastian of Bay City, left, as she makes a purchase Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at the dispensary on N. Sherman Street in Bay City.

(Katy Kildee/kkildee@mdn.net)

As places to buy marijuana continue to pop up across Michigan, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency Licensing data base released the cities with the highest number of active cannabis stores.

Ann Arbor, with its longstanding tolerance for pot, reigned supreme as the city with the most active recreational cannabis retail businesses.

The Ann Arbor Hash Bash, an annual event that includes a collection of speeches, live music, street vending and occasional civil disobedience, is one of the oldest political rallies of any kind in the nation. The event originally took place on the University of Michigan's Diag on April 1, 1972 to celebrate the release of activist and culture figure, John Sinclair, from prison on cannabis related charges, according to the University of Michigan events page.

So, it's no surprise that Ann Arbor is the city with the most stores, at 24.

Keeping up with Ann Arbor, though much smaller in population, is Bay City.

While Ann Arbor spreads its 24 dispensaries among a population of more than 120,000, Bay City, along I-75 north of Saginaw, has 22 dispensaries for a city with 33,000 people. That's about one store for every 1,500 people, according to reporting by WFGR News

The other top 21 Michigan cities with the most active recreational cannabis retail business licenses are as follows:

  • Battle Creek: 20
  • Lansing: 16
  • Kalamazoo: 14
  • Big Rapids: 12
  • Muskegon: 12
  • Grand Rapids: 12
  • Adrian: 8
  • Burton: 8
  • Flint: 8
  • Jackson: 8
  • River Rouge: 7
  • Marquette: 7
  • Lapeer: 6
  • Ypsilanti: 6
  • Kalkaska: 6
  • Coldwater: 6
  • Hazel Park: 6
  • Manistee: 5
  • Buchanan: 5
  • Morenci: 5
  • Portage: 5

Looking at strictly per capita cannabis stores, the winner is Kalkaska, having one pot store for every 346 people. That's six stores for a population of 2,076 in the village.

One reason why Michigan's cannabis retailers are randomly located is because once a city decides to buy in, what happens next is influenced by its track record — or lack thereof — on accepting the much-older medical marijuana industry, as well as its population mix and its proximity to state borders, according to reporting by Crain's Detroit Business.

For more marijuana related news, visit Michigan Green State at https://www.migreenstate.com/.