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Recreational marijuana dispensary to open on Grand River Avenue in April, close to campus

February 24, 2021
<p>The new dispensary, Pincanna, is located at 1234 E. Grand River Ave. and will open in April. Photo taken on Feb. 18, 2021.</p>

The new dispensary, Pincanna, is located at 1234 E. Grand River Ave. and will open in April. Photo taken on Feb. 18, 2021.

Photo by Jillian Felton | The State News

A new medical and recreational marijuana dispensary, Pincanna, is set to open on Grand River Avenue in April.

This will be the only dispensary to open within walking distance of campus, said Rob Nusbaum a founding partner for Pincanna. 

“It was really a coveted location,” Nusbaum said.

This is because of East Lansing’s zoning rules, David Haywood, planning and zoning administrator for the city, said. He said that dispensaries are determined using overlay districts, which block off geographical regions, and within that region, only a certain number of dispensaries are allowed. 

Pincanna is in the Downtown Development Authority District, which rules that dispensaries have to be at least 1000 feet apart from each other. Haywood said that is by design, so the market is not oversaturated. 

“I think there were a lot of concerns early-on, what might happen with a use like this so they wanted to take it slow and only allow so many,” Haywood said.

This made Pincanna’s location a sought-after spot, Nusbaum said. So, it was fortunate that the application process and City Council decision was merit based.

“We usually don’t lose merit-based decisions,” he said. “Our group is very compliant and very well funded.”

Pincanna is a Michigan-based dispensary, with its growing and processing facilities in Pinconning. They have won 50 Cannabis Cups, an award given out by High Times magazine.

It is a city requirement that dispensaries must donate either $5,000 or 1% of their net profits for each license they have — recreational and medical. Nusbaum said Pincanna has pledged to give $100,000 annually to local charities. 

While recreational marijuana use is allowed within the city, for those living on-campus, university rules and federal law still apply. Kat Cooper, chief communications officer for MSU’s Residential and Hospitality Services, said that marijuana use is still not allowed in any of the residence halls, and resident assistants are still required to call the police if they suspect it. 

Lt. Steve Brandman of MSUPD said the department is taking on more of an educational approach as opposed to enforcement. 

“Generally, it’s not anything that we enforce anymore,” Brandman said. “There are a few provisions that are civil infractions, but for the most part, it usually falls under housing violations more than anything on campus.”

Brandman said part of the reason for this shift from enforcement to education is that between federal, state and local statues, marijuana laws can be confusing for students. As a federal land-grant university, MSU is still beholden to federal law, but the city of East Lansing is not. 

Brandman said the MSUPD’s approach is more of a “get it out of here” mentality now. 

If the federal policy does change to decriminalize or legalize marijuana use, Brandman said MSUPD would have to wait on any administrative changes within the university to change their response. 

“So the short answer is, I have no idea until that day actually comes,” he said.

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