MUSKEGON, Mich. — The 12-foot tall bright red metal astronaut sculpture in place along Laketon Ave. is turning heads, exactly what the owners of Redbud Roots, a Buchanan-based cannabis producer and distributor expected would happen.
"Just about everybody we've meet seems to like it so far," said Alex Leonowicz, one of the company's owners.
Redbud Roots spent more than a year preparing to open it's first recreational marijuana provisioning center at 237 W. Laketon Ave. The store opened Thursday, July 23 to a long line of customers eager to purchase the company's marijuana products.
"I asked two days ago when they'd open, they said today," said Ace Green who lives just down the street from the new store. "Like, I'm here the first day."
In the city of Muskegon marijuana business are restricted to a marijuana overlay district, roughly bordered by Seaway Drive., Peck Street, Hackley Ave., and Laketon Ave.
The district was selected by city leaders in part because of the abundance of underutilized commercial buildings and blight.
According to Muskegon Planning Director Mike Franzak the designation triggered a real estate buying frenzy in the marijuana overlay district.
"It has worked out well for us," Franzak said. "We're seeing a lot of investment now in the district."
Redbud Roots invested $1.2 million to transform an old service garage a secure state-of-the-art provisioning center.
"We put a lot of love and care into it and we want to have that unique experience when you come in," said Leonowicz.
Redbud Roots hired 20 employees from the Muskegon area.
The city's fourth medical and recreational provision center, Timber Cannabis Co. is expected to open in September.
Julie Moorehead co-owner of the the Indiana-based company is transforming a closed bar on W. Laketon Ave. "It was a disaster before we got our hands on it," said Moorehead.
Moorehead says getting the provision center up and running including the building remodel is "a huge investment."
Timber Cannabis is looking to hire a director of sales and operations and filling 10-15 other positions by the middle of August.
In Muskegon more than 25 marijuana business licenses have been approved, including licenses for marijuana grow facilities. Currently two marijuana grow facilities are under construction and may be operational before the end of the year.
Muskegon's first dispensary Park Place Provisionary is located at 1922 Park Street. The second dispensary in the city is Bella Sol Wellness located at 1839 Peck Street.
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