Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pleasantrees offers East Lansing's first recreational marijuana location

September 28, 2020
A display at the new East Lansing marijuana dispensary Pleasantrees on Sept. 28, 2020.
A display at the new East Lansing marijuana dispensary Pleasantrees on Sept. 28, 2020. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Recreational marijuana sales are available for the first time in East Lansing, as Pleasantrees cannabis company expanded their sales Saturday, Sept. 26, according to a Facebook post

The establishment opened July 17 as the only operating medical facility in East Lansing. At a public hearing at the Aug. 11 City Council meeting, Michael Yassay, Pleasantree’s director of finance and legal operations, said the company had hired more than 60 people since the pandemic started.

The in-store capacity has been limited to 10 guests (25% capacity) and masks are required at all times, according to the company’s website. Curbside pick-up is available as an accommodation for any customer who does not have a mask, is unable to wear one for medical reasons or who is not comfortable entering the establishment. 

“We’re definitely very excited to be able to be here and to be able to serve the community,” Vice President of Merchandising Michael Krefman said. “(It’s) definitely something that we feel part of the community and very supported, and it’s been something that has been a lot of work for our team and we’re really proud to see it come to fruition.”

When the facility opened on July 17, Yassay said the process was done quickly to demonstrate that they care for medical patients in the community. They did not want to hold off the opening until recreational sales could offered at the same time.

Krefman said the facility is fully integrated to allow cultivation and processing along with sales.

“All of the flour that we sell here we grow in our own facilities, and now we’re able to sell that all the way through to the end consumer here and bring those products to the East Lansing marketplace,” Krefman said.

The Pleasantrees’ website outlines a four-pronged approach for social equity in the legal cannabis industry. In their efforts, they promise to create financial opportunities by maintaining a robust staff of individuals with non-violent cannabis convictions among talented professionals in the industry. 

By providing life skills training to staff and the community through various qualified partnerships, Pleasantrees aims to close the life skills gap that is widely a direct result of incarceration. The social equity plan commits to supporting elected officials, legislation and organizations that work to mitigate the effects of prohibition and to create equitable opportunities for those disproportionately affected. They, likewise, plan to fund initiatives in the local community to address food and housing insecurity, safety and environmental concerns.

“Our view is that cannabis should have never been illegal in the first place, and the prohibition of cannabis on the federal and state level has been an injustice and it has caused many millions of people to experience hardship as a result for being prosecuted for the crime in a booming legal industry,” Yassay said at the July 8 Planning Commission meeting. “However, and additionally, the effects of the prohibition have helped exasperate a contemporary situation in which people that were disproportionally impacted by the criminality of cannabis are now systematically disadvantaged from participating in the legal industry. Our firm stance is that this is wrong, and we plan to do something about it.”  

According to the company website, Pleasantrees currently partners with the Last Prisoner Project, Habitat for Humanity, 70 Million Jobs and ReLeaf Michigan.

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