Alexander SinnGrand Haven Tribune

The medical marijuana industry is growing in West Michigan. Muskegon’s first state-licensed medical marijuana provisioning center opened in the city Monday, June 24, and the same company intends to set up shop in Crockery Township next month. Greg Maki, a Muskegon resident and owner of Agri-Med, renovated a trucking terminal for the new Muskegon facility, called Park Place. A new dispensary in Crockery Township, called Exit 9, will be located on M-104 a few miles from the I-96 exit ramp.

The company expects to employ over a dozen people. Maki said Friday saw a “steady flow” of patient customers, who are required to present their medical cards and photo IDs before entering a waiting room.

From there, a budtender leads patients one-by-one through a 2-inch-thick steel door to shop a variety of cannabis products, which are pre-packaged in child-proof containers and placed in white bags upon purchase.. The door and bullet-proof glass at the facility were not required by the state or city, Maki said. “We thought we would build above and beyond,” he said. Budtenders help patients decide what products are right for their needs, Maki said. Park Place currently has two on staff, and are training more. The Crockery Township operation will be similar, Maki said, and will open once the Muskegon facility is a “well-oiled machine,” in about 3-4 weeks. Crockery Township is the only Tri-Cities municipality that currently allows medical marijuana facilities.

The City of Grand Haven opted earlier this year to create an ordinance, which is currently in the planning process. Crockery Township Supervisor Leon Stelle told the Tribune last year that its available medical marijuana licenses have had several applicants over the year, but a complicated state licensing process had deterred all but one business. Emerald City Provisioning Center, the only dispensary in the township, shut its doors this past year after it was acquired by Green Park Innovations. Agri-Med is also in the approval process for a growing license for an operation that would be housed at a warehouse behind the Muskegon provisioning center. The Muskegon and Crockery facilities are expected to add home delivery. Maki said he and his partners were among the first applicants for state licenses. A two-year process of legal work and designing the facility was a challenge, he said, but it paid off.

The harder something is, the more rewarding it is,” Maki said.