Plans for Bangor, Michigan medical marijuana dispensary to expand to other towns

Bangor, Michigan's medical marijuana dispensary // WSBT 22 photo

It's been legal in Michigan for 10 years, but medical marijuana dispensaries are still sprouting up around the state – and soon may come to southwest Michigan.

The Green Door in Bangor opened just seven months ago. The owner's daughter was born with epilepsy and they turned to medical marijuana to help stop her seizures.

Seeing how much it's helped her, he now wants to open dispensaries throughout Michigan to help others.

Tuesday was a busy day at The Green Door, partially because it was 710, the holiday similar to 420 but for marijuana-based oils and waxes.

Owner Mark Smith says more than 100 people come to his counters daily

“If you put a pin in Bangor and drew a circle, it's about 110 miles."

He has 2,700 registered patients, many driving from hours away.

With few medical marijuana dispensaries open, Smith says his customers are happy to have a closer location to get their medicine.

City manager Regina Hoover says the business has done a lot to help the city.

“They do a good business and bring in a lot of people, and I’m suspecting those people have visited some of our other businesses in the area."

Whether it's for edibles, oils, waxes or the buds themselves, Smith says he sees people with all kinds of medical issues coming in.

“We have 32 cancer patients right now, 18 Parkinson's, about 13 seizure patients,” said Smith. “I think we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 veterans that come in with issues."

One woman says the past seven months have done more for her husband than the past 10 years of chemo.

“It makes all the difference because he's still surviving,” she said. “Surviving is the key and I believe it has a lot to offer for a lot of different cases of medical treatment."

A second store is set to open in Baldwin, Michigan and Smith has been in talks with four additional cities, including some in our area like Benton Harbor.

"We feel like we need to have about 8 total stores across Michigan for our plant to run at full capacity,” he said.

For any city on the fence, Hoover has some advice.

“Do a little homework. Ask your questions, they are willing to answer any questions you have. They have been a great addition to our downtown area."

Smith says each city has to decide if allowing a medical marijuana dispensary is right for them.

He says he's had several opt out, but believes the ones that opt in will see major benefits for the city and its residents.

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