The pot shop takes over the old credit union – the drive-thru window and all

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Kyle Kaminski

Lansing is on the fast track to regaining its title as the cannabis capital of Michigan this summer with another dispensary opening here this month – this time with a store called Herbana, which opened on June 17 without much fanfare on Saginaw Street, just west of the famous Taco. Its arrival got a bit more boisterous with a grand opening celebration over the weekend.

By my count, Herbana scores at least 21 dispensaries in the city, just ahead of the 24 pot stores in Ann Arbor. But with seven more set to open over the next few months, we’re well on our way to putting ourselves on the map for something other than Quality Dairy chip dip. (Although we still need it.)

I caught wind late last year of Herbana’s plans to move to Lansing and in December I traveled to Ann Arbor to visit their flagship store for a live preview. City officials told me they expected the store to open in January, but there were some delays. Turns out a giant cement dome that used to be a credit union isn’t the easiest renovation.

Last week, regional manager Al Moroz invited me for a tour and to explain exactly what sets his newly opened shop apart from all the others in town – aside from the echo.

“We’ve been in the industry since the beginning here in Michigan. We know what we are doing. It is a clean and friendly place. It’s that vibe, along with our commitment to treating our staff well,” he said. “Happy people sell happy weed to happy customers, and that’s what we do.”

Herbana is sort of a sister company to Arbors Wellness in Ann Arbor – one of the oldest dispensaries in the state and the first to be licensed for recreational use in the state. It is also a subsidiary of one of Michigan’s largest cannabis empires, Arbor Holdings, which operates its own cultivation and processing facilities, Arbor Farm and Arbor Kitchen, as well as two other Herbana locations.

Moroz correlates Herbana’s above-average bud retention rate with its ability to build deeper connections (with better product recommendations) for customers. It’s not uncommon for regular shoppers to pass through the Ann Arbor location twice a day, he said.

The bargain prices don’t hurt either: Herbana ounces are as low as $100. Most eights are $20 to $30. Only a few made it to their top shelf for $50; They will learn soon enough how slowly these sell out.

“It wasn’t the best time to open a store with such a dramatic drop in the price of cannabis, but we’ve been in the industry long enough, we knew this kind of thing was happening,” Moroz said.

“Besides, it’s the capital. It’s an artery. Although we have a lot of competition, we believe we can generate business and continue to grow the idea of ​​Lansing as a cannabis destination.

The dome is a former Michigan Catholic Credit Union – also the former home of Walk In Truth Ministries. You can find its twin on North East Street at Chen’s Chinese Restaurant.

The expansive rotunda was painted black and adorned with the company’s signature aquamarine hue. The walls are lined with typical pot shop goodies – cases of gummies, tinctures and other snacks, bags of prepackaged buds, vape cartridges galore. They haven’t quite figured out what to do with the empty echo chamber in the middle, but it’s really unique.

And one of the best features: Herbana still uses the old credit union’s original drive-thru window, so you can order online and quickly grab a bag on the way home from work. This makes it the second store with a drive-thru window after Bazonzoes recently opened a south side location.

Moroz pointed me towards Herbana’s house brands, grown by Arbor Farm and packaged in-house by the Arbor Kitchen brand. The company has earned a reputation for producing genuinely stunning sativa strains. The best on my run was a $40 Golden Goat and a $30 Green Crack – which I haven’t seen in other Lansing stores.

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