There are 82 medical marijuana dispensaries in the State of Michigan—but none in the southwest corner of the state. At least not yet.
That’ll change next Wednesday, May 22nd when the Zen Leaf dispensary opens its doors to medical marijuana card holders.
It has all the elements of a ‘mind blowing moment.’
Not so long ago there was no such thing as a legitimate way to sell pot. Now it’s poised to happen out of a storefront in the heart of downtown Buchanan (259 E. Front Street).
“I’m from the Michigan City area but I started in Colorado, so being there in 2010 through 2017, I saw the transformation of what people’s opinions are about this, about this industry,” said Zen Leaf General Manager Billy Breen. “Now people are seeing this as a true form of medicine.”
“I’m also the police chief here in the community, and I’ve been in law enforcement for 40 years,” said Buchanan City Manager/ Police Chief William Marx. “I fought marijuana for 40 years and it was ingrained in me that it’s bad.”
Now it’s viewed as a good way to fill vacant storefronts in downtown Buchanan. There are six in the 200 block of Front Street alone. Buchanan city government has awarded a total of five permits for proposed medical marijuana dispensaries including Zen Leaf.
“These individual businesses have jumped through so many hoops to get to where they are right now, I’d have to say the public can trust these are not fly by night individuals,” Marx said.
Turns out, some of ‘these individuals’ at Zen Leaf are your neighbors: “I was searching for more of a full time job, working at a winery is kind of just weekend work anyway,” said Zen Leaf employee Lydia Applewhite of Berrien Springs. “And I