Michigan: Local pot shop worries about corporate competition

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cannabis products in display shelf

As the economy continues to struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, marijuana dispensaries are still sprouting up across West Michigan.

Greg Maki, the owner of Park Place Provisionary, a marijuana shop in Muskegon, loves to see his customers purchase his goods. His store carries more than 670 items.

“We carry everything for everybody,” Maki said. “Both medical and adult use.”

Maki opened his store 18 months ago as a medical dispensary. He started selling recreational marijuana a year ago.

“The adult use or recreational is 80% of our sales,” Maki said.

His store was the first marijuana dispensary in Muskegon County. In the past year, competition has grown.

Our numbers are down and we’re sharing it with six more stores, but we’re still holding our own,” Maki said. “Facilities are owned by multi-state operators, out-of-state, I call it big money out of state, big money out of Detroit-area,” Maki said.

Maki isn’t sure if he can succeed in the long run.

“That’s a very realistic fear. These companies that come in are well-funded and seasoned,” Maki said.

Park Place Provisionary, a marijuana dispensary in Muskegon on Jan. 18, 2021.

Maki’s solution to the problem is to cultivate his own cannabis. He’s building a grow facility in the back of his shop.

“If you can’t produce your own product, it’s going to get much harder if you don’t,” Maki said.

He says it’ll be about seven months before he can harvest his own marijuana.

Maki currently owns three dispensaries but plans on opening several more by the end of the year, including locations in Whitehall and Grand Haven.

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