6 family-owned dispensaries in Michigan and the stories behind them

(Photo via thehempirecollective.com)

By Jessica Strachan
October 25, 2023

Few things feel better as a Michigander than spending your dollar at a local store where the owners have put their heart and soul into something special. The same goes for Michigan’s cannabis dispensaries.

MICHIGAN—They may look like ordinary dispensaries from the outside, but behind their walls—and even further, behind the people whose visions took off—are stories of finding hope, connection, and service through their cannabis businesses.

We’re spotlighting six Michigan dispensaries where the stories of inspiration and creativity truly tug at our heartstrings. They are business people with purpose and the kind of passion we love to support.

The Hempire Collective

10147 N Loomis Rd, Clare, MI 48617

One major reason to support family-owned dispensaries is the integrity behind their practices. That’s what you’ll find at The Hempire Collective, whose work is driven by a deeply personal story of seeing firsthand how cannabis could help those suffering from both physical and mental illnesses:

“In 2014, our beloved brother and son, Tai, left the U.S. Army after 10 years of service, and was diagnosed later that year with a rare form of stage 4 kidney cancer,” they share on their website. “After seeing how cannabis helped to alleviate Tai’s pain due to his cancer symptoms, manage his anxiety and PTSD following his military service, and significantly improve his overall quality of life during his final days, we discussed, as a family, becoming patient caregivers.”

The Hempire Collective became one of the first medical dispensaries in Isabella County and now serves those who are able to benefit from legalized use without a doctor’s note.

Meet the family and inspiring story that changed their approach to marijuana forever.

The Grassy Knoll

2125 Lemuel St., Muskegon Heights, Michigan 49444

(Photo via The Grassy Knoll Muskegon on X)

By choosing to support family-owned cannabis farms and community businesses, we directly contribute to our local economy—creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and doing business with those who intentionally invest their profits back into the community. 

That’s definitely the story behind Grassy Knoll in Muskegon (which you may recognize from their Grand Rapids presence, too). They pride themselves on their family roots, and champion the fact that they don’t have any ties to corporate or outside funding. That’s a promise.

They employ community members, buy local as often as possible, make sure they give back in meaningful ways, and are champions of regional growth. To Grassy Knoll, that means working alongside the Noah Project in Michigan—they help the no-kill shelter with financial support and donations of CBD treats for the furry babies in need of a lot of TLC. You’ll also find them active in the West Michigan Cannabis Guild, working as a partner from within the community.

Winewood Organics

2394 Winewood Ave, Ann Arbor 48103

(Photo via Winewood Organics on Facebook)

Family-owned cannabis farms often emphasize sustainable and responsible farming practices. They prioritize environmentally friendly cultivation methods, such as organic and regenerative farming techniques. Enter Winewood Organics, an independent and family-owned microbusiness in Ann Arbor that bills itself as part lab, part farm, and part dispensary.

“We only sell what we plant, grow, trim and pack with our own hands,” Winewood says on its website.

Maintaining control over operations and staying true to their values allows Winewood’s owners to maintain higher levels of integrity in their products and services.

What’s cool is that they publish their harvest schedule and full grow process online—a gem for local herbal nerds, green thumb ‘Ganders, and aspiring agriculturalists. Learn more about the family’s process here.

Dunegrass Co.

801 N State St., Big Rapids 49307 (and multiple other locations)

(Photo via Dunegrass Co. on Facebook)

Family-owned businesses in the marijuana industry typically offer personalized service and expertise—really, a whole vibe. Enter Dunegrass Co., a sibling-owned venture like walking into a time capsule of Michigan with hardwood floors to cherry oak cabinets inside an original brick building.

It’s cozy, warm, and nostalgic—quintessential vibes from growing up in the Mitten. And their whole premise is that Up North is an attitude, not just a place to buy cannabis. 

“It’s kind of an homage to Traverse City; we really like to bring this very high-end, beachy feel,” Eric Piedmonte, one of the founders, told the Big Rapids Pioneer about the opening a couple years back.

They created a space not just for cannabis users but also for those who want to come in and buy non-THC products, locally inspired t-shirts and apparel, and mingle with Michigan natives. As brother Nick Piedmonte said, it was a vision grown and harvested from their own “Up North roots,” and the fruits of their labor are the gifts this family shares with all of us.

Golden Greens

270 Crandall Pkwy, Lawrence 49064

(Photo via yourgoldengreens.com)

Family-owned cannabis farms often focus on producing unique and high-quality cannabis products because they take pride in their craftsmanship and strive to provide customers with exceptional products. That’s what makes Golden Greens so special.

Nestled in the community of Lawrence, you’ll meet a true family of cannabis experts and Leroy, the shop mascot whose cool factor alone makes you want to be a loyal customer. 

Owners Bill and Becky and their entire team of staff are experts who walk you into a much deeper world of strains, edibles, and other cannabis products that you may not find elsewhere. Take a peek at their website, where you can meet each team member and see what we find to be one of the most authentic shopping experiences around.

Oh, and here’s more photos of the legendary Leroy, because he’s a good boy.

Neighborhood Provisions

909 W Washington Ave., Alpena 49707

(Photo via Neighborhood Provisions on Facebook)

Family-owned businesses in the marijuana industry are often deeply invested in their local communities and engage in community outreach programs, sponsor local events, and support local charities. By extension, customers are also contributing to the overall well-being and growth of the community. That’s what makes Neighborhood Provisions a destination dispensary because they represent the power of community in Michigan. 

Sure, we also love the story behind their brand and the stunning green door you walk through to enter the dispensary—a nod to the days of prohibition when you knew there was a good time waiting behind that brightly colored door. 

But we support them because they don’t just talk the talk, but they walk the walk with clearly defined and lived-by ethics. Advocacy, education, and collaboration are at the core of how they serve customers and the community at large with their community outreach program called Cannabis and Kindness. It’s a place to score a few goods for your stash while re-upping on your Michigan pride. Check them out here.

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CATEGORIES: CANNABIS | COMMUNITY

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