Marijuana retailers on rise


West Michigan has become a market for recreational marijuana retailers.

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency approved recreational marijuana licenses to Park Place Provisionary, Bella Sol Wellness Centers of Michigan LLC, Battle Creek Provisioning and Battle Spring LLC.

Park Place and Bella Sol are the only medical marijuana retailers in Muskegon, and they began selling recreational marijuana products Jan. 17 and Jan. 18, respectively. Battle Spring and Battle Creek Provisioning are marijuana retailers in Battle Creek, according to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

The four retailers are among 63 businesses that have been issued adult-use licenses since the agency began issuing them in December.

As of Jan. 16, they include:

  • 36 marijuana retailer licenses
  • 14 marijuana growers class C licenses
  • 6 processor licenses
  • 4 secure transporters licenses
  • 2 marijuana event organizers licenses
  • 1 marijuana safety compliance facility license

Excluding the two marijuana event organizers, all 61 of those licensees have medical marijuana licenses, which the state started issuing in 2018.

Greg Maki, a Muskegon resident and owner of Park Place Provisionary, officially opened his provision center in June, selling medical marijuana products after buying and renovating an old trucking and freight terminal. He received his adult-use recreational marijuana license earlier this month.

He said it is a natural evolution in the marijuana industry for medical marijuana provision centers to now pursue recreational licenses.

Michigan native Melinda Budzynski and her partner, who both have established marijuana-related projects in other states, received their medical marijuana license last year and opened Bella Sol Wellness Centers of Michigan in September. They also received their adult-use marijuana license earlier this month.

Budzynski said although the west side of Michigan tends to be conservative, she wanted to find a progressive city in West Michigan to establish her business.

“A lot of the cities and the municipalities are holding back on legalization because they are taking a wait-and-see approach, but in the meantime, there is a huge demand for cannabis products,” she said.

Some of the recreational marijuana products that Budzynski and Maki sell at their stores are vape cartridges, flowers, concentrates, edibles, gummies, chocolates, brownies, chocolate-covered coffee beans and topicals, among other things.

Those products have generated $8,251,118 in total sales and $1,369,686 in combined excise and sales taxes in Michigan for the first five weeks since the Marijuana Regulatory Agency began issuing adult-use marijuana licenses on Dec. 1.

For December, there were $6,989,305.65 in total sales in recreational marijuana products in the state.

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