This Q&A is part of a daily series highlighting the many medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries across Greater Lansing. Check back for a new post every day this week. And be sure to check out our 420 print edition, which published on April 14.
How long has your company been in business?
We opened in November in Albion and started delivering into Lansing in January.
Briefly walk us through the story of how (and why) your company got started.
The concept and Brand was started by our founder Brooke Malik. Her first medical provisioning center was in Flint in 2015. She is an active member of the Michigan marijuana community and has always wanted to have a storefront with a name and concept that felt welcoming and inclusive to anyone. When the opportunity arose and the location in Albion presented itself, it was just an easy decision and the name Sunnies fit the bill. Her mission has and always will be to provide her patients the best medicine money can buy with service that you would get at a regular medical facility. We understand that medicinally we have gone a long way back in how we describe and "prescribe" marijuana so to speak. We want to normalize the purchasing process as much as possible without taking away the substance and information actually available to the patients when it comes to medical marijuana.
Who is on the leadership team and what sorts of backgrounds do they bring to the table?
Our leadership team comprises several legacy marijuana providers with a cumulative experience of over 30 years in this industry in Michigan. We have toiled with the best of them and we aim to provide the best service whether it be with delivery or in-store purchases.
Briefly walk me through the scope of your company.
We are not vertically integrated...yet. Once we do become vertically integrated, we will be coming hard for the Michigan market. Our plans are for the long haul, and we are definitely ready for the challenge. We have just been awarded a top position in Pontiac for another provisioning license. In our portfolio, we have a 100,000 square-foot grow in Albion with cultivation and processing in a huge way. Once we have multiple provisioning centers and our own production line, we will be able to provide a seamless experience to our customers.
As of right now we only have one storefront in Albion, but we deliver to Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Marshall, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Oakland County and basically anywhere in between with only a $50 minimum. We are easily found on weedmaps or sunniesmi.com. We also take orders over the phone at 517-343-2070.
How many employees do you have, both locally and across the entirety of the company?
Nine. But we’re growing fast!
How has business been lately?
Business is good! We understand that we aren’t at our full potential until we can offer recreational products, but once that happens, I can easily say good will turn into great.
What sets your provisioning center(s) apart from others on the local market?
Service. Here at Sunnies, our budtenders know what they are talking about and service is always with a smile. We know we curate and sell only quality products, but we also know that eventually everyone will do the same. So, not only do we stand by the product but we also provide a pleasant, patient, and knowledgeable experience to our customers.
All of our bud tenders are happy to spend as much time as necessary with our patients over the phone or in person trying to find the right product for the patient. We don’t rush. We don’t time. No one is paid per person or per transaction. It’s all family here. Secondly and most importantly, we pretty much guarantee satisfaction. A lot of people might say it. We actually do it.
We think this should be like any other transaction in life and we don’t want to force anyone into anything they hate or doesn’t make them feel good. We work with all of our customers. No complaint is left unanswered and a manager is always available to handle any situation. This is medicine we are dealing with, not lumber. And even then, who’s going to buy wet wood?
What does this company hope to accomplish?
Our mission statement is simply put to provide the most comprehensive and seamless experience when it comes to purchasing your cannabis medicine.
Where do you see this company 10 years from now?
We definitely want to become a multi-state operation in the next few years. Ten years is a long time in this business and I can imagine by that time, the whole name of the game could change. We just hope that Sunnies can stick around long enough until a bigger picture comes up.
Any exciting new products on the shelves lately?
The shelves are constantly changing with new technology, really making it interesting and more and more accessible to people who have never even thought of trying cannabis before. The customer base is also changing. For example, we have seen a serious uptick in clients between the ages of 55-70 coming in looking for pain and sleep management medicine. It truly is a sign of the times when that age barrier starts to break. It’s clear to us and many of our customers that the medicine we’ve been prescribed for years just isn’t as good as the natural soothing effects of cannabis. Things are changing right in front of our eyes, and it’s amazing the type of products we get to deliver to our customers. We have transdermal patches that offer a smokeless experience. We have medicated balm which works very efficiently as a rub for arthritic pain management. We literally have everything from gummies and chocolate to actual food items like peanut butter and honey — all infused with cannabis. This starts to change the experience and how we actually see the medicine, especially if you can share it in your tea with your grandmother.