"I grew up in the 60s," said Pat Campeau, 72, of Lansing, Michigan, the first customer queued for the city’s first day of recreational marijuana sales. "This is, to me, a major event."
On the corner of South Pennsylvania Avenue and Jolly Road, Homegrown Cannabis Co. was the first retailer in the city to open up and sell recreational cannabis products for adults. For over a year, the location operated as a medical marijuana distributor.
Campeau got in line at 7:30 a.m., an hour-and-a-half earlier than the store’s 9:00 a.m. opening time.
“The laws were a little bit ridiculous and definitely a little bit too harsh,” said Campeau about the days before recreational marijuana legalization. “It's nice knowing I don't have to hire a lawyer.”
Cash payments are only accepted at Homegrown and operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. every day but Sunday, when hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While the city of Lansing has approved retail licenses for 15 businesses, many of which, like Homegrown, were already operating as medical provisioning centers, large swaths of the Lansing area have implemented total bans on cannabis retailers.
Currently, the Lansing City Clerk's Office is not accepting new Marijuana Operations applications. The next 30-day window opens on Tuesday, March 17.
“My goal is for this process is to be as fair and efficient as possible in the selection of provisioning centers that protects the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the City with the criteria set forth in the Ordinance,” said Chris Swope, Lansing City Clerk. “In addition, I know that many Lansing residents depend on these products for their well-being and need to move quickly to reduce disruption in access.”
“It's a good thing for us, it's a great thing for the city of Lansing too because every time a store opens it means there's less product on the black market. It's more jobs and tax revenue for the city and we're really proud of what we're doing here,” Josh Hovey, spokesperson for Homegrown Cannabis Company said.
Inside the Homgrown show room. pic.twitter.com/RWSd31NF3a— Christian Martinez (@ChristianM_CA) February 28, 2020
Leading up to Homegrown’s opening day, over 50 people were waiting out in 20-degree weather to enter the store.
“This is the day I've been waiting for, for a long time. In fact, I moved from Florida to Michigan and I'm standing out here in the cold because I'm very excited to see what this is going to bring to the state of Michigan,” Martha Shafman, a Lansing resident said.
“It will be a good thing. There's a lot of money that can come from this that can go to a lot of places. It can give a lot of jobs to people,” Marcus Jefferson, Lansing resident said.
"These retail operations combined have pledged $75 million in capital investments in the city. The concentration of the jobs are actually in the grow facilities, people to take care of the plants and various other things within those facilities, and then at the retail locations," said Swope.
Lansing has another licensed retailer called Pure Options at 5815 S. Pennsylvania Ave. About 30 miles north of Lansing is Lume Cannabis Co., at 116 N. Washington St. in Owosso.