BANGOR TWP, MI — Take a drive down Wilder Road and you might notice green crosses popping up on buildings: The medical marijuana industry is officially open for business in Bay County.
As the state continues to process hundreds of applications required for its Medical Marihuana Facilities Act — a new law that aims to regulate what’s believed to be an $837 million industry in the state — some retailers in Bay County have opened provisioning centers, also known as dispensaries, early under the state’s emergency rules and are serving a growing number of patients.
A dispensary called Hydra Elevated Wellness opened at 4373 Wilder Road after the new year.
And then husband-and-wife duo Jason and Angie Dabrowski opened their first location of Roots Dispensaries at 3557 Wilder Road on Jan. 19. Inside the spacious location, display cases feature jars of marijuana flowers, inhalers, cannabis oil, ointments, and medibles, such as brownies and suckers.
From day one, business has been booming.
“It was exciting,” said Angie Dabrowski of their first day. “We had people from Traverse City, Flint, the Thumb, Sebewaing.”
Patronage has only increased since then, with her husband estimating 90 to 120 people visit the shop each day.
“Forty percent of them I would say are new customers — first-time visits,” Jason said.
The shop opened under the state’s emergency rules that allow dispensaries to open early while their license is still being processed. During that period, they can only obtain their medical marijuana from various state-licensed caregivers. Dispensaries can start purchasing product from large commercial growing operations after the state approves those permits.
Bangor Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley, who has been a proponent of municipalities opening their doors for the medical marijuana industry, said he had concerns with the emergency rules because the product isn’t being regulated as outlined in the new state