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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 — Four medical marijuana dispensaries are back open for business in Lansing after state officials overturned industry regulations and allowed about 70 dispensaries to re-open statewide.
The following pot shops were open to medical marijuana patients today:
Cannaisseur at 3200 N. East St. is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Edgewood Wellness at 134 E. Edgewood Blvd. is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Homegrown Lansing at 1116 E. Oakland Ave. is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Old 27 Wellness at 2905 N. East St. is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The state’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board voted unamimously earlier this month to authorize dozens of unlicensed businesses to resume operations. Dispensaries were previously advised to obtain a state operating license by Dec. 31 or close. The new rules extends that deadline to March 31.
Bureau of Marijuana Regulation Director Andrew Brisbo said the regulatory shift was designed to enhance patient access amid concerns over a statewide medical marijuana shortage. The boardalso again allowed shops to sell products from caregivers rather than just from state-licensed processors and growers.
Under the old rules, only shops with state operating licenses — Homegrown and Cannaisseur — were able to continue business in Lansing. The change allowed Edgewood and Old 27 Wellness to t reopen their doors temporarily while they await a formal greenlight from the state’s licensing board.
Another nine unlicensed dispensaries with conditional approval from the city of Lansing could eventually reopen ahead of the March deadline, but each of them remained closed this week. Edgewood Wellness co-owner Jeffrey Hank suggested the old Best Buds location on Michigan Avenue could also be operational in the next few days.
“We just opened back up,” added Homegrown owner Tom James. “We’re selling state-licensed products and caregiver products. We’re just trying our best to provide patients with the safest products possible. There are still issues with the supply chain, but it’s still a learning curve. Everyone is learning about the process as it continues.”
With only 29 licensed growing facilities statewide, and many still months from harvest, even the licensed shops had temporarily closed as they struggled to stock their shelves with fully tested, state-approved products. The reprieve from the state helped unkink the supply chain, but the effects of a statewide drought have continued.
James said Homegrown offers three tiers of products. The top-tier marijuana — which comes from caregivers — is available for about $20 a gram. Other products range from $10 to $15 per gram. A host of other medicine (like edible gummies) are also available, but Homegrown is still paying “very high wholesale rates,” James explained.
Those rates, while shops struggle to maintain their inventory, are also reflected in the customer price tag. And dozens of reviews on WeedMaps.com show customers are growing irritated with the higher-than-normal costs.
“It’s still an issue,” James said. “These are price points that most patients just haven’t been accustomed to. Once our gardens are vertically integrated in the next six to 12 months, we hope that prices will be able to come back down because we’ll be controlling that supply. It’s going to take some time to get the industry back up and running.”
Homegrown was also the only dispensary in Lansing to be targeted by the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for a voluntary product recall. James said 119 customers that bought a range of contaminated marijuana Dec. 27 to Dec. 30 are eligible for a refund or can have their products replaced with a new batch.
Other dispensaries in Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti and Detroit have since issued similar recalls after state-mandated testing procedures discovered elevated levels of mold, yeast, chemical residue and other bacteria. Officials at LARA labeled the move precautionary. No patients have reported any negative side effects amid the recall.
“I obviously don’t like to take things that are contaminated, but I think this is going to be an educational process for the industry,” James added. “I obviously want safer medicine for patients. I want things to be safe and I want these products to pass through the testing. It’s just on us, as growers, to assimilate into this monitoring process.”
In the meantime, patients who purchased bud under the strain names Citrix, Gelato, Green Crack or Oreoz can return to Homegrown for a voucher or exchange for another product. Call 517-708-7729 for more information.
While the recent provision on temporary dispensary operations and caregiver-supplied marijuana formally ends in March, state officials hope the market, by then, will have adequately expanded to meet the statewide demand. Industry advocates have said the future of the market will depend largely on the speed of the licensing process.
Meanwhile, the Lansing City Clerk’s Office has approved licenses for a total of 13 dispensaries. Four, listed above, are open. The other nine can open if they filed applications with the state by Feb. 15, 2018. They are:
AEY HOLDINGS LLC (KIN)/3425 S MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BLVDâ€¯
ALTUM LLC (ALTUM PROVISIONS)/5829 EXECUTIVE DR, SUITE A
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