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Marijuana revenue helps pave way for Gaylord tax cut

Gaylord residents are getting a tax cut this year thanks to a budding industry.

According to the annual budget for fiscal year 2023-24, Gaylord took in about $311,000 from the Marihuana Excise Tax — over $100,000 more than what was predicted in 2022.

The Gaylord City Council passed the budget as it was proposed at its June 12 meeting.

PDF: A full copy of the budget.

Gaylord has seven marijuana dispensaries in its city limits with more expected to open this year.

“We wanted to be conservative with those estimates,” city manager Kim Awrey said. “That extra revenue goes towards our general fund balance for the next year. So it’s definitely a great thing.”

Matt Smith is general manager at Skymint Marijuana & Cannabis Dispensary on Main Street.

He said while he does have concerns about an overcrowded market, he’s enjoyed seeing the cannabis industry find success in Gaylord.

“It's taken some time,” he said. “But over the year we've worked very hard at getting out in the community, shaking hands and letting people know that we're here and educating people letting them know what we do.”


The millage rate for law enforcement was decreased. That’s the rate at which property taxes are levied.

Despite that, law enforcement still remains the largest item in Gaylord's budget with a $2.4 million allocation.

“Every day our town can grow to 40,000 to 45,000 people with our shopping and health care and schools and things like that,” Awrey said. “Because of that growth, we have a larger police department than you would normally see in a town with only 4,200 people.”

Awrey said the city will be setting aside funding to build a park near the area where the city’s elk herd is located. The city set $150,000 toward the project and is planning to apply for state funding from the Department of Natural Resources.

“Currently, we don't have an ADA compliant space to view the elk. And it’s the number one tourist attraction in the city,” Awrey said. “It's a big part of our community.”

Michael Livingston covers the area around the Straits of Mackinac - including Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties as a Report for America corps member.