Recreational marijuana sales became legal on Sunday. Here's what it was like for one Ann Arbor shop.
Recreational marijuana sales started Sunday in Michigan. Several people lined up outside of one Ann Arbor dispensary for hours.
The line at Greenstone Provisions at the edge of downtown Ann Arbor stretched around the corner.
A.J. Fields and his friends woke up at 3 a.m. and drove from Indianapolis to be among the first people in line. He says it was worth it.
“We’re here because we wanted to be a part of history. You know what I’m saying? We just bought some recreational weed. That’s pretty awesome,” Fields said.
Fields and his friends host a weekly YouTube show that they call a “potcast.”
“We’ve been coming to Hash Bash in Ann Arbor for the past few years, so when we heard that shops were going to be selling recreational, we had to make the trip,” he said.
So far, the three state licensed dispensaries actually selling to the adult use market are all in Ann Arbor.
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency is allowing these dispensaries to transfer half of their supply from the medical marijuana side to the recreational market. So long as the product has been on the shelf for at least 30 days and no medical patients bought it, any adult over 21 can buy it.
Bartek Kupczyk, the Director of Retail at Greenstone, says he was unsure about how the day would go until he saw the line of people outside early this morning.
“I could talk all day about the historical significance, but I mean just look outside. There’s a line of people going all the way around the corner. From that business standpoint, who wouldn't want lines around the block? As a businessman, that's the dream right there,” Kupczyk said.
Michigan voters approved recreational marijuana a year ago. Kupczyk says the effort to legalize marijuana wasn’t done just from people wanting to get in on the business side. He credits local elected officials in making it a reality.
“This would have never happened without Ann Arbor city council getting involved and making it happen. They wanted Ann Arbor to be the first place with recreational sales, so they really delivered on that,” he said.
As of November 22, 1,411 municipalities have opted out of the licensed establishment portion of the marijuana law, meaning they have chosen to not allow retail sales in their communities.
Matthew Price is one of the so-called “budtenders” at Greenstone. He says this day is important to him for many reasons.
“I would have been here no matter what today. Whether I was on this side of the counter or the customer side, I would have wanted to witness this,” Price said.
Price, who has been working at Greenstone for about six months, says he would have argued to be allowed to work this day just to observe what he calls, “a day worth remembering for the rest of my life.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the only licensed recreational marijuana retailers so far were in Ann Abor. There are also licensed retailers in Morenci and Evert, although they were not yet selling to the public on Sunday.