Recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan, but it could be months, even years before growing operations and retail stores open. In the meantime, community members and even larger corporations are planting their roots in medicinal marijuana.
Steven Roberts is one of them. He said he started the process of opening Aim High Meds LLC in October 2017. The process hasn’t been easy. While weed is legal, cities and towns can still deny businesses like his from locating in their communities.
Tekonsha Township said no. Tekonsha Village said yes. Village President Thomas Bowling said the decision was based on the community’s wants.
“We worked with zoning to be able to come up with a zoning ordinance, the 425 that allowed for that kind of business to be in the location it is, but yet keep the residential and the schools somewhat removed,” Roberts said of his work with the village.
After resolving the zoning issue in December 2017, Roberts applied for a medicinal license in January 2018.
“We were on the docket on July 12. It took that long to do the background check and process through the state,” he said.
With five yes votes, remodeling began in July 2018. Roberts purchased an old bar. An architect laid out the flow of the building for its specific purpose.
“We started taking down the building and starting over again. Separate counters are designed to be HIPPA compliant so you can talk to individuals one at a time,” Roberts said.
Yet Roberts faced another roadblock. The law also requires security for both dispensaries and growing operations.
“The way you walked in, you were behind glass. It’s bullet proof glass. The idea is you pass the driver’s license over to our secretary or receptionist, then she buzzes you in that second door,” Roberts said.
Others like Marty Webber with Heartwood Pharms are not even that far along in the process. Webber and his partners spent more than a year looking for a location for their future medicinal marijuana grow.
“Our plan is