| 2 min read | by Doug Marrin, firstname.lastname@example.org |
The grass is now legally greener in Michigan, metaphorically not literally speaking. The first retailers to sell recreational marijuana in the state opened their doors to long lines of customers yesterday morning, Sunday, Dec. 1, at 10:00 a.m.
“It’s long overdue but we’re glad that pot is finally legal,” said one customer at Exclusive Ann Arbor on Varsity Drive off of Ellsworth Road. “Given the decades of known benefits of pot and then the approval of medical marijuana in 2008, legal recreational trade was the next logical step. It was slow in coming but at least it’s here now.”
People had lined up at Exclusive’s door before its 10:00 a.m. opening. By the time the key was turned to let in the first customers, the line extended half-way around the block, approximately 1,500 people.
Michigan has licensed six retailers to sell marijuana to adults 21 years of age and older for recreational use. Four are in Ann Arbor, one is in Morenci, and one is in Evart. Ann Arbor marijuana retailers are Greenstone Provisions, Arbors Wellness, Green Peak Innovations, and Exclusive Ann Arbor. A retailer has to be specifically licensed to sell pot recreationally. Medical marijuana facilities can still only sell to people with a medical marijuana card, not just any adult walking in wanting pot.
Nobody in line at Exclusive wanted to be identified. “I don’t want anyone from work seeing I was here,” laughed one woman. “But it’s all good. We’ve been in line since 10:00 (5 hours) this morning and are glad to be here on this day.”
When asked what the real difference was with recreational pot being legalized, people had a lot to say.
“There is a lot more choice,” said one man. “Pot, extract, edibles, and oils in all sorts of varieties and forms. I don’t have to just take what my guy is offering anymore.”
“Even with pot being a misdemeanor, and the police didn’t really enforce it, I still always felt like I had to hide it,” a woman explained. “Now I don’t, even though it still feels like I do.”
“No more looking over my shoulder,” another man said.
You will be hearing the term “provisioning center” more and more in reference to pot shops. While the public can call them dispensaries, pot shops, or whatever we like, cannabis shops cannot call themselves dispensaries, pharmacies, drugstores, or apothecaries without putting their license in danger of being revoked. Marijuana facilities are only allowed to use the term “provisioning center” in their advertising.
At 3:00 pm, one group had been in line for more than five hours and estimated they still had an hour to go before getting in the door. The line still stretched half-way around the block.
“Why come today and stand in line for hours?” I asked. “It will still be legal tomorrow.”
“Because it’s a historic moment,” said one man. “Look at all these people. This is a big deal.”
“I came down from Bay City because nobody is selling it legally up there,” said another.
“If I had some at home, I wouldn’t be here now,” laughed yet another man.
Two Ann Arbor police units were on site. “Everyone is having a great time,” explained one officer. “People are happy and getting along. There have been no problems at all.”