The history of marijuana decriminalization in Michigan is combative. As a Rust Belt state, we’re not the most progressive hood around, but we take what we got and make the best of it. Michigan voters first agreed to a medicinal marijuana ballot proposal in 2008. What a great November that was. Seriously.
A glimmer of hope for medical and recreational users alike, it was soon met with resistance; including Michigan’s Supreme Court. After wacky Republicans considered legalizing recreational use without a vote, banking on the premise that liberal voters wouldn’t have as much incentive to hit the polls in November, the measure will ultimately appear on the ballot after all.
Since 2014, Detroit’s number of dispensaries, which are now legally known as “provisioning centers” has dropped from 250 to 60. It can be hard to keep track of which ones are operating or aren’t. Some close temporarily; others permanently. Here’s a list of our favorite places in the city that we can depend on – for now – for our nug necessities.
House of Zen
Far East Side
Female-owned with a super welcoming environment
Located on a silent stretch of Mack Ave, just south of Chandler Park, House of Zen is known for making its guests feel super comfortable. Owned by two sisters, House of Zen prides itself on being a black-owned-and-operated business that specializes in premium strains. There’s no mystery as to what you’re getting here: Each strain is clearly labeled with its myriad health benefits, and the staff is ready to take their time and give you a clear and thoughtful recommendation.
Green River Meds
Knowledgeable staff that offers exchanges
Along Grand River Avenue just west of Telegraph Road, you’ll find a massive selection of flower, oils and edibles. The oils can be pricey, but they do the trick. And if you have an issue, they’ll do exchanges, no questions asked. There’s no doubt the strains here work as promised. Surrounded by a quiet residential area, it’s the perfect spot for a quick pickup.
Far West Side
Fully stocked store right on the edge of the burbs
There’s no missing Green Genie as you drive along a nearly vacant stretch of West McNichols. The giant, inflatable T-Rex that greets you at the parking lot is just a glimpse to the diversion that awaits you inside. Green Genie fanatics say that while the location is a bit out-of-the-way compared to others, its huge selection and wide variety have made it worth the trip and kept them as regular customers. With edibles and drinkables galore (including Kush Colas), this genie has the power to grant more than three of your weed wishes.
8 Mile and Lahser
Where the pros go to work, and to shop
Surrounded by pawn shops and beauty supply stores (ya know, 8 Mile stuff), this is the go-to place for Michigan-made munchies. This is medicine, y’all, and the staff knows its business. With easy access for city residents and suburbanites, the clientele is diverse and everybody’s in a good mood. How could you not be?
8 Mile and Southfield Freeway
Where you get to legally go to the outer limits
Area 51 is a good example of the shady politics surrounding Detroit’s medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Just last year, cops raided the place and handcuffed staff and clients alike, under the precept that it was operating illegally.
Now, Area 51 is clear for business and its die-hard clients couldn’t be happier. Touted as having the best prices around, the staff is chill and ready to answer any questions you may have. You get the idea that they really want you to walk away feeling like you got the best deal possible. Honest and effective: that’s how Area 51 operates.
House of Dank
8 Mile between Ryan and Dequindre
Because who doesn’t love a pre-rolled blunt so fat and fuzzy they call it a “tarantula”
The shop’s name might border on absurd, but it certainly doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. HOD is probably Detroit’s premiere bud shop at the moment, and with good reason. Largely staffed by women who know their shit, it’s the kind of place you can and should feel comfortable taking recommendations. Most jars are labeled with THC content and there’s even an app (hello 2018!) that alerts users to sale items. And there are many, many sales. You can place an order for pickup which is helpful for those with mobility issues, and because the place (partly due to its convenient location, but mostly due to its impeccable quality) can get heavily packed.
Huge selection and range of prices to satisfy the whole family
While it hasn’t been around as long as some of the others, Flavors has won over the hearts of eastsiders with a solid online ordering system. They’re new, but Flavors has all the makings of a classic Detroit bud shop. With lots of edibles, concentrates, CBD treats and lotions, it’s also an easy-in / easy-out location. Plus, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re into buying flowers with Star Wars names.
Gated parking and a mascot that makes you want to drink the Kool-aid
King Seaweed hasn’t been around for too long either but attracts with a pro website where all its prices and most of its (damn good) products are listed. The vibe is a bit more like a liquor store than some of the other dispensaries, but the budtenders take their business seriously. Shout out to the super helpful dude who wears scrubs and knows the ins and outs of the latest vape technologies.
Motor City Kush
8 Mile and John R
Convenient shopping and friendly budtenders
Recently opened, Motor City Kush is already getting rave reviews for its wax and fancy, well-priced vaporizers. The large parking lot has trusted security and finding a space isn’t a problem. A major benefit to MCK aside from its location is the pre-weighed bags for those who are shopping on the go. The budtenders here are super friendly and helpful. You get the vibe that they sample quite a bit of the product themselves, so their opinions seem trustworthy. There’s no pressure to buy here either, which is refreshing and creates a relaxing environment.
Green Acres Wellness
Pro-gear, pro attitude
A step into Green Acres Wellness is like taking a step upward on the stairway to ganja heaven. Gummies, hard candies, cookies, rice crispy treats, sodas, teas, juices, cooking oils and butter, vape cartridges, waxes, dabs, shatter, and topical pain rubs, and sprays abound. What more do you want? Located on the city’s far southeast side, it may be a trek for some people, but it’s well worth it. Order easily online with its trustworthy website, and choose from a variety of buds like Jet Fuel – California greens imported to Michigan to elevate us to the next level.
Seeing this is exciting and sad as I live in Tennessee where they still will jail me if caught with a roach.
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