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Cannabis Week: Michigan Sales Record; CEO Pay Surges; Musk Weighs in

Cannabis product sales in Michigan hit $210 million in  in July, topping a previous record set in April.
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The cannabis industry continues to see a lot of volatility, but that doesn't mean executives aren't doing well.

In fact, it's been a very good year for some of the top cannabis industry executives. 

While the industry is in the midst of some growing pains that have seen some of the biggest Canadian cannabis companies have trouble working through the inventory they built up during the pandemic, the CEOs of the top multistate operators in the U.S. are getting paid handsomely. 

A recent analysis from MJBizDaily showed that seven industry CEOs saw their compensation total top $4 million in 2021. The year before that only one executive reached that level. 

George Archos of Verano Holdings  (VRNOF)  was the highest paid executive on the list with take home pay of $16.03 million. 

Like the rest of the list, most of Archos' compensation came from stock options. Archos' shares were worth more than $15 million in 2021.

Abner Kurtin of Ascend Wellsness  (AAWH)  had a salary + bonuses of $1.2 million. Stock and option awards boosted his take home pay by $13.75 million. All told, Kurtin brought in $15.96 million. 

James Cacioppo of Jushi Holdings  (JUSHF)  was paid $9.87 million, including $7.26 million in stocks and options. 

Kim Rivers of Trulieve Cannabis  (TCNNF)  was the lone woman in the top 7, taking home $8.05 million in total compensation with a base salary of $500,000. 

Michigan Sets Sales Record

Michigan cannabis consumers pushed sales in the state to a record of nearly $210 million in June, according to the latest data from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency.

Michigan residents purchased $188.8 million of recreational cannabis products in July, including $91 million for flower, $39.7 million for vape cartridges, and $22 million for infused edibles. 

Michigan opened its first recreational shops in December 2019. 

Medical sales totaled $21.2 million, about half of which came from flower sales. Vape cartridges and infused edibles were also the second and third most popular products for medical partakers. 

Last year, Michigan reported recreational sales of $1.3 billion for the year and another $481 million from medical sales.

Elon Musk Pulls for Cannabis Reform

Tesla  (TSLA)  CEO Elon Musk sees some hypocrisy in the Biden Administration's handling of basketball star Britney Griner's detention in Russia for alleged violations of that country's cannabis laws. 

Griner is being seen as a pawn in the conflict between the U.S. and Russia over Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. 

The administration proposed prisoner swaps to free her after a Russian court sentenced the WBNA star to nine years in prison.

Musk suggested the proposal showed U.S. priorities were skewed, given the number of Americans in jail for marijuana possession and use.