MUSKEGON, Mich. — Park Place Provisionary had just over a week to prepare for the hundreds of recreational customers who showed up Friday.
"I don't think people understand how many stickers go on these products," Tracy Powers, the vice president of Agri-Med, said with a laugh. "We were here until almost midnight last night packing flower and stickering product. We started again this morning at about 6 a.m. A lot going into it."
Agri-Med owns Park Place Provisionary, which opened to medical users in June of 2019, and Exit 9, a medical marijuana shop in a Nunica.
Powers said they have been stocking up on medical product since November, but they could not begin transferring any of that product to recreational use until they acquired their license. They were then able to transfer 50 percent of their medical product to ensure they'd have enough to sell to recreational customers in the first few weeks. Recreational marijuana is slightly more expensive than medical with prices ranging from $18 to $60.
Hundreds of people cycled through the shop at 1922 Park St. on Jan. 17. The line began to form hours before the shop opened at 10 a.m.
Jason Workman, who says he runs a 420 bible study group, arrived at 7 a.m. just to network with like-minded people.
"This is a blessing. Thank you, Jesus," Workman said of Muskegon opening the first recreational shop on this side of the state.
Park Place provided those waiting in line with a warm tent equipped with free food from places like Abeshi Ghanaian Cuisine and Brooklyn's Bagels, along with free drinks.
On average, people were waiting at least an hour or two to get inside.
"It's moving slower than normal because people are so excited," Powers said. "They want to look at everything and they want to hear about everything."
Park Place had five 'budtenders' tending to customers at a time. Between its two stores, Agri-Med has just over 20 employees and five executives that make up their team.
"We all wear a lot of different hats, right now," Powers said.
Manager Leslie Gonzalez said she was most shocked by the demographic of the customers.
"I assumed it was going to be a younger crowd coming in, and it's been all over the board—all different types of people," she said.
Gonzalez has been working at Park Place since they opened this past summer. The magnitude of Friday's event hit her as she stood in the bustling shop.
"It's history. We are part of history now! Never thought I'd be part of history," Gonzalez said.
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