By Charles Sercombe
And just like that, Hamtramck has a retail outlet where adults 21 years old and older can now legally purchase recreational marijuana.
You don’t need a medical marijuana card, but you will need an ID to complete your purchase.
And that’s it.
The shop opened last week in a former veterans post building at 2238 Holbrook Ave., next door to Kowalski Sausage Co.
In other words, the building with the giant abstract black and white mural on its side wall.
Its opening seemed to catch a number of folks by surprise, considering that just two years ago Hamtramck went through a heated public debate on whether to allow marijuana dispensaries and grow facilities to locate here.
There was a huge pushback from both the Yemeni and Bangladeshi communities about allowing those types of businesses to locate here. Many of the critics said they were concerned about marijuana shops attracting crime, and that their presence would influence their children.
While there was stiff opposition, there was one thing the Hamtramck City Council didn’t do: Choose to “opt in” – which would open the doors for the businesses – or “opt out,” which would have prohibited them.
Since the council chose none of the above, state law allows marijuana shops to open in the community, and there’s nothing the city council can do at this point to shut this business down.
“We can’t stop it from coming here if there isn’t an ordinance,” said City Manager Kathy Angerer.
Work on the building began several months ago.
The outlet is part of a chain called Pleasantrees, and its headquarters is located in Harrison Twp. So far, the company has just one other store, which is located in East Lansing.
The general manager of the Hamtramck store, Jonathan Coleman, said the company plans to open several more stores in the state, including in Detroit.
As long as COVID-19 remains an ongoing health concern, there will be only curbside pick-up for now and the foreseeable future, in the parking lot next to the building.
Coleman said he is aware of the past resistance to the business.
“One of our pillars is to be a strong community member,” Coleman said.
And for those who have concerns, Coleman said he welcomes them to visit.
“I will listen to them, and find out how to alleviate their concerns,” Coleman said.
Coleman also said that he has put a premium on hiring local and Detroit residents. There are now 12 employees.
The store also provides security service 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
Retail hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. very day.
The store offers over 200 products, including edibles and other items. The store does not have a grow facility in the building, nor is there a plan to install one.
The store’s cannabis is grown in the company’s 50,000-square-foot facility in Harrison Twp.
While there may still be resistance to a marijuana facility locating in town, Mayor Karen Majewski welcomed the new business. Majewski has been in favor of allowing such businesses.
“The owner has Hamtramck roots going way back, and is committed to being a good civic partner, as well as to hiring Hamtramck residents,” Majewski told The Review.
“The building has undergone a careful renovation with sensitivity to its architectural integrity. I welcome this new business to Hamtramck and wish it every success.”
Posted Nov, 13, 2020