New cannabis competition to decide who is ‘Best in Grass’ in Michigan

New cannabis competition to decide who is ‘Best in Grass’ in Michigan

This story was reprinted with permission from Crain’s Detroit and written by Dustin Walsh

A new competition is entering Michigan to determine the best marijuana in the state’s dominant recreational industry.

Best in Grass, a newly formed company by two former events employees of popular monthly industry magazine High Times, will host its first ever judging competition beginning on April 6.

The competition will feature more than 200 products from 60 different cannabis brands, including flower, concentrates, vapes and edibles. Winners of the competition will be announced at an event at Royal Oak Music Theater on June 18.

To enter, local cannabis companies donate product to Best in Grass, who package them by category and sell them at 25 retailers across the state. The purchasers of the kits will then be asked to judge the products in exchange for a $20 discount at the dispensary where they purchased the kit.

The participating dispensaries include several locations at dispensary operators: Leaf and Bud; Puff; The Grove; Breeze; Green Lab Provisions; Remedii Natural Health; The Bloomery; North Coast Provisions; Rize; and Da Cut.

The kits will retail for between $75 to $280 depending on the category of product.

The Best in Grass company gets a cut of the sales, said Mark Kazinec, president and COO of the program. Kazinec is the former vice president of events and competitions at High Times.

“I’ve spent the past four years getting to know the vibrant Michigan cannabis community, which is a true standout among all of the cannabis-friendly states I’ve visited coast to coast,” Kazinec said in a press release. “When it came time to select a launch market for Best in Grass, we knew the mitten state was the perfect location. As one of the largest cannabis markets in the U.S., Michigan consumers have shown up in droves for previous competitions. We’re looking forward to tapping into that loyal audience and connecting with the cannabis community through Best in Grass.”

Michigan’s marijuana industry has shot to tops in the national. In 2023, consumers purchased $3.06 billion worth of medical and recreational marijuana, or about $305 on a per capita basis, according to data from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency.

The state appears to be on a trajectory to surpass that total in 2024.

Marijuana sales in the state in January topped $242.8 million, up 17.1% from the same month in 2023. In February, sales reached $261 million, up 20.6% from sales in February 2023.

At that trajectory, the state would top $3.5 billion of sales in 2024. That’s well above other established legalized states, such as Colorado, which sold $1.53 billion in marijuana last year and Washington, which sold $1.13 billion of marijuana on 2023. California is the only state to sell more in raw dollar value than Michigan last year at $5.1 billion, but the state has nearly 30 million more residents.

Best in Grass plans to follow up the Michigan event with competitions in Ohio, Illinois, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Missouri.

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