It's a first for Muskegon Heights -- a marijuana dispensary is now open for business. The Reef is an adult-use marijuana dispensary, opening nearly a year after the city passed its marijuana ordinance.
"It's been going very well. We had a strong start," Director of Operations Rush Hasad says. "Seems like the local residents enjoy their flower and it seems like they enjoy their pre-rolls. Those two categories are doing well for us."
The Detroit-based provisioning center partnered up with a Muskegon Heights resident to come to town, and after getting approval from the city, the owners started construction in November 2020.
"It's been great so far," Hasad says.
Medical and adult-use marijuana sales totaled just over $165 Million in revenue in Michigan in August, and with millions made in tax revenue every year, City Manager Troy Bell says he's excited to welcome the business to town, along with more in the future.
"It's one that's more than 45% minority and 45% local participation in the project," he says. "We anticipate that there'll be two microbusinesses that'll be opening up here shortly right on Broadway in our downtown main corridor."
The two additional dispensaries will be able to grow and sell marijuana, and Bell says the microbusinesses are part of the most economic growth the city has seen in the past three years.
"It means jobs, and it means tax revenue," he says. "It means that we have a building that was vacant and empty, and now it's fixed up and beautiful."
The Reef also means local residents don't have to leave town and spend at other shops, keeping cash in Muskegon Heights.
"This is the exciting finale, so to speak," Bell says.
The Reef and future dispensaries will be part of the city's Good Neighbor plan and Voluntary Economic Development plan, which means the owners will work with the community around them and contribute to educational, social justice and philanthropy causes.
Bell also notes that this is an exciting time for the city, as the downtown area was recently revamped with new lights and other enhancements, and other new businesses are expected to open in the next three to four months.
"I'd say keep your eyes on Muskegon Heights as we reach new heights," Bell says.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.