Many Mid-Michigan communities are warmly embracing the controversial medical marijuana dispensaries as a new way to attract revenue and jobs.
It is the first of its kind for the city of Vassar. The Station Provisioning Center is preparing to open for business this weekend.
"A provisioning center is actually a pharmacy," said David Ellis, consultant for the center.
It's a pharmacy that sells medical marijuana and products derived from it.
Ellis said developers have been working on opening the business for nine months.
He said the support from the Vassar community has been amazing. He said he hopes folks continue to see a provisioning center can do more good than harm.
"I think an educational component for the community is very important so that they understand that this is not the marijuana that everyone thought it was of smoking joints. And you know, the movie that was out in the '70s - the Reefer Madness," Ellis said.
Instead, Ellis said it's a legitimate treatment for qualifying patients who have acquired their medical marijuana card. He said the business and employees are strictly monitored.
"Our staff are actually patient advocates. So they understand all of the medical values. They understand the qualifying ailments through the state of Michigan because anybody can't just come in here. And you're not allowed to get your medical marijuana card just because you want it," Ellis said.
He said the developers will also be opening a wellness center next door.
"Some people may not even need a cannabis product, but may come to us for other things like a nutritional piece like an herbal therapy. Maybe massage therapy twice a week. So we kinda try to look at this and do this in a holistic way with cannabis just being one of the things that we do," Ellis said.
The soft opening of the Station will be Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The grand opening is Saturday at 10 a.m.