More dispensaries springing up in Michigan-- as cannabis connoisseurs celebrate 4/20
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mi. -- Cannabis connoisseurs flocked to cities like Niles, Benton Harbor and Buchanan as dispensaries offered a variety of discounts and promotional offers in celebration of 4/20.
Tiny Buchanan has five legal pot dispensaries in the city-- one of the most per-capita in the state of Michigan, nearly one for every 860 people.
“Buchanan is a weed town now. Everybody is happy!” laughed Frederick Miller, the Weed Ambassador for Cannavista Wellness.
Further north in Benton Harbor-- the city just opened up its second dispensary-- BLOC-- just a few doors down from its first-- NOBO Provisioning.
BLOC currently only provides medical cannabis to its customers, but even on 4/20, they said business had been steady.
“We still are catering to those medical patients that other dispensaries still have too long of lines for them to wait, so it really works out in our favor," said BLOC Supply Chain Manager Kelly Miltibarger.
The City Commission approved BLOC for a recreational license, though they still need to get the green light from the state-- something the managers hope will come through in the next few weeks.
But even with two recreational pot shops downtown-- and a third on the way-- along with several shops in Niles and Buchanan-- those running the dispensaries said they aren't worried about competition in the marketplace-- instead, they said it's a matter of cooperation to get whatever the customers in their community need.
“I’ve never really felt like it was a competition kind of thing," said Miller. "Honestly, if we don’t have something, hopefully the next store a block down the road has it for you! And I’m willing to recommend that.”
Eulogio Cruz, BLOC's General Dispensary Manager said “It sells itself, the product does. It’s the experience that we’re representing, with our competitors also, hopefully that we can combine that and really bring that knowledge to our people out there in our community.”
And communities with dispensaries recently got a total of $42.2 million from marijuana sales to be used for local projects-- Berrien County will get over half a million dollars for its nine dispensaries in cities like Niles, Buchanan and Benton Harbor, who are also receiving a portion of the funds for hosting the dispensaries.
BLOC said that drawing in so many people on 4/20, and having enough shops to cater to the growing demand, is only going to bring higher revenue to Benton Harbor.
“We look forward to really really growing together and that’s key for us, because at the same time we want to make sure that we bring and represent Benton Harbor to its finest," said Cruz.