A glimpse inside Michigan’s evolving marijuana shop experience - mlive.com

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Marijuana sales in Michigan continue to grow

Enter the waiting area of ​​one of the more than 240 casual marijuana stores in Michigan, which is often decorated with lush plants and post-modern furnishings, you might be thinking-is this a health spa?

Glazed and confused, Shangri-La, Skymint, Herbal, Lume, Gage, Pleasantrees or Dank read some store signs when they arrived.

After showing your ID to prove that you are over 21 years old, the staff will usually lead you into the exhibition hall through a solid door. You will see a well-lit room with jewelry boxes and dazzling displays. However, there are no gems or Rolex watches for sale.

It's all marijuana.

As Michigan’s recreational marijuana industry enters its second year of survival, its annual revenue exceeds 770 million U.S. dollars. If you include medical marijuana sales, it reaches 1.2 billion U.S. dollars. The customer experience is also evolving, especially When you bring pandemic cannabinoid toxins into the cannabis market. mixing.

As supply meets demand, Michigan's new market retail prices have also changed dramatically.

Matt Kowalski, manager of Bay City Shango, said: "Retail prices fell from 25%-40% between July and November, and they continue to fall.

The state’s cannabis regulator no longer includes average retail flower prices in its monthly statistics report, but previous data shows that between January 2020 and 2007, the average retail cost per ounce of marijuana dropped by 35%, from Approximately US$500 per ounce dropped to US$323 per ounce. The same month this year.

By 2020, reservations, deliveries and roadside sales have changed the buying experience, but many cannabis stores are now reopening their doors to customers.

State officials and insiders say that the industry continues to grow at a rapid rate and believe that the potential market for Michigan with 6.5 million residents over the age of 21 is far from being developed.

Celebrities and sports stars such as Snoop Dogg, the great Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, actor and comedian Tommy Chong and the future Detroit Lions Hall of Fame Member Calvin Johnson (Calvin Johnson), is becoming synonymous with many new products and investors.

With the influx of financially strong investment groups and the advent of federal legalization-which may expand the business scope of large, multi-state companies-people large and small have some behind-the-scenes battles for market share and long-term success as they compete for market share.

"I don't want me to enter and squeeze the locals like Budweiser and big companies do," said Tim Hodgkiss, general manager of Jackson's 20 Past 4 Provisioning Center. "The market is established by local companies."

He believes that complex and knowledgeable consumers not only need the "best deal", but also more attention to keep some smaller companies in business.

A series of daunting new terms and a wide variety of products (including pre-rolls, tinctures, vape, wax, food and beverages that are about to be added to THC) may scare novice customers.

This is one of the reasons why Hodgkiss and other retailers spend a lot of time training sales clerks (known as budding) to instruct new and long-term cannabis users to use the products they want.

Apothocare’s Blue Mason is located in Ann Arbor and is one of many flower varieties sold at 20 Past 4 Provisioning Center in Jackson. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

Fabian Monaco, President of Gage Cannabis, said: “Michigan’s flower market still dominates. His company has growing and processing facilities and seven retail stores across the state.” This is the queen of the category . Michigan people like their flowers. "

When customers enter the showroom in the bay city of ShanghART, they are greeted by tall showcases, which contain various strains of smokable marijuana called flowers.

Although the flower is in its original form, it is one of the most complex products in the cannabis store due to its variability, variety, growing technology, smell and high price.

Customers who want to get a relaxing, calming, high-strength product to relieve pain or help sleep, directly target In flowers. The more popular alfalfa-based strains produce euphoria and are more uplifting.

"This is because you can still do things with your own life," a Shangri-based netizen said, explaining the popularity of Sativa.

Kowalksi, the store manager, said: "India is on the couch."

He said that customer loyalty to products is not only based on the brand name, but usually based on the grower or plant strain.

"Some are very specific; if not, they will go to another place where there is this place," Kowalski said. "This is specifically for strains and growers. Some people want specific strains, and some people want specific strains from specific growers.

"You can have the same strain, but someone can grow it completely differently, and even the same grower can have different batches for different tests, different THC percentages and terpenes."

Kowalski picked up the translucent cylindrical cannabis sample container from the shelf. He flipped a plastic tag, revealing some of the scent holes he inhaled.

He said: "This should smell like Powerade." "You can pull them out, look at them, smell them."

According to Kowalksi, buying flowers is a complete sensory experience. With the passage of time, customers will gradually develop their own tastes and preferences, but especially at the beginning, some trial and error are required, and hope to proceed under the guidance of the waiter.

Jackson's Hodgkiss at 4:20 said there is a lot of information online. The source of choice is usually

, This is a nationwide website where most retailers list their products and prices, and provide reviews and delivery, pre-order and payment methods.

The 1 gram vape 1 gram cartridge produced by Platinum Vape is one of the most popular items since 2020 and will be sold at 20 Past 4 Provisioning Center in Jackson. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

After flowers, atomized cannabis distillate is the next most popular and profitable product for most retailers.

This is a fast, clean, relatively tasteless, smokeless and convenient way to ingest cannabis. It uses a device called "vape pens" to evaporate liquid THC extracted from cannabis through interchangeable cartridges. Things.

They have various flavors and various THC potency. Birthday cake, banana praline bread, gum bear and cereal milk are a litany of other mouth-watering and fruit-inspired names.

Vaping suffered a severe injury in 2019 due to health scares caused by the use of the cutting agent vitamin E acetate, which resulted in more than 2,800 hospitalizations and 68 deaths as of February 18th.

.

Since then, the business has resumed, in part due to the implementation of new testing standards by national regulators, including a ban on the sale of any vaping products with untested problematic ingredients.

Monaco said: "Although I think this was a fiasco in the industry at first, it also helped people push the market to the legal market." The Monaco company operates a biscuit brand retail store and produces its own cannabis products. "From a security perspective, those who might be inclined to buy products on the illegal side of things have now tended to the legal side of things..."

Vaping "juice" is more commercial in the sense that it is usually just THC extracted from hemp. Customers equate better products with higher THC content and develop preferences based on their own choices.

There is an upper e-cigarette cartridge called "full spectrum" or "active resin". The process not only focuses on THC, but also uses a method of extracting all plant compounds. It provides an experience and flavor that is more similar to smoking traditional cannabis flowers, and some believe that it retains the therapeutic benefits lost by only THC extraction.

Hotchkiss said: "These will definitely be more expensive."

Headquartered in Colorado, Wana canned gummies come in many varieties and flavors and are available for sale at 20 Past 4 Provisioning Center in Jackson. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

The edible portion is on the rise and is becoming more and more popular with irregular cannabis users. This is a way of not smoking marijuana and the delicious food that most people like.

In Shango in Bay City, there are chocolate bars, THC-infused honey and fruity fudge. Other shops sell baked goods, butter, biscuits and quick drinks.

In 2014, the New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd visited a pharmacy in Colorado and consumed a large amount of THC through candy bars. Edible food received negative media attention.

She later wrote in a column: “I nervously remembered where I was and what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the bare brick wall.” “As my paranoia deepens, I become I'm sure I'm dead, no one told me."

The good news is that caregivers can instruct new consumers to avoid similar experiences. Michigan limits the total milligrams of THC allowed in any snack food to 100 milligrams (at least 10 doses). This means that a pack of 20 gummies contains 5 mg THC, which is about the recommended dose for beginners.

Kowalski said that In-based foods are popular among customers seeking a good night’s sleep. He said that a customer (a nurse) bought a chocolate bar to make S'mores.

He said: "If someone comes in and wants to have a taste, this is something they have never done before. Our advice is to make sure you have nothing to do." "The worst case is: you might get sleepy, but make sure you Have time and patience not to panic. Start at a young age. Give it half of the gummies for an hour. Don't jump too fast."

The resin produced by Redbud Roots in Buchanan is one of the most popular items in Jackson's supply center in the past 4:20 in 2020. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

In most cannabis stores, there is also a long list of other cannabis products to choose from. These patches will slowly seep THC into your bloodstream, mouth sprays, tinctures or drops to add to drinks, but most The popular market segment is attentive.

These highly effective products carry names such as broken, rotten, sprouts and crumbs, and can be sprinkled on cannabis or smoked using so-called "dab rigs", which are a kind of glass tube similar to a buzzer and require a flame to burn with a torch. Can be transformed into cannabis extract. Smoking.

Because the rig is heavy and inconvenient, equipment is being put on the market, making the smoking process easier-and without the need for torches.

The paint pen uses electricity to heat the concentrate so that it can smoke.

As the market becomes increasingly saturated with new growers, processors and their products, customers will have more choices.

Kowalski said that diversity does differentiate the stores from each other.

He expects the trend to continue, with the focus on flowers, the growing interest in e-cigarettes, and the growing demand for edible food.

Gage Cannabis's Monaco company operates Cookies-branded retail stores through an exclusive partnership. He said that the wide variety of products should not scare off curious consumers.

He said: "Michigan is now opening more, which gives us more opportunities to interact with customers one-on-one, which is really helpful for first-time consumers."

Monaco recommends doing some online research to check reviews of popular strains and brands and figure out what type of consumption you might like, but when it comes to pollenists, it will also be useful to guide customers to what they want.

"It's about trying," Monaco said. Even experienced cannabis users like to try new products, new flavors, and new ways of consumption.

"For that new consumer, you should have a wealth of experience following a popular brand name that has been recognized by many, many consumers before you."

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