How this Ann Arbor dispensary stays true to its family-owned roots

Eric Parkhurst is the founder of Winewood Organics. (Courtesy photo)

By Jessica Strachan

March 12, 2024

Forget about gimmicks like sexy packaging. This microbusiness dispensary is made up of a humble—but thriving—team of cannabis cultivators who love the feeling of dirt under their fingernails.

MICHIGAN—Today, we’re looking at a company that is taking cannabis into the future by going back to its roots. 

We’re talking about the folks at Winewood Organics in Ann Arbor—led by founder Eric Parkhurst. They’re not focused on gimmicks like sexy packaging. Think of them more as part of a cannabis movement that believes in getting their hands dirty, quite literally, by growing and processing their own cannabis products under one roof—rooted in organic cultivation practices. Parkhurst tells us they’re also highly motivated by a burning desire to dismantle the system that allows corporate cannabis to gouge consumers.

So, what’s it take to operate Ann Arbor’s only microbusiness dispensary?

The MichiGanja Report spoke with Parkhurst to learn more about the philosophy behind Winewood Organics.

How this Ann Arbor dispensary stays true to its family-owned roots

Winewood Organics is located at 2394 Winewood Ave. in
Ann Arbor. (Image via

What about cannabis inspires you the most as an entrepreneur and Michigander?

I’ll never do anything else! I’ll never get tired of getting my hands dirty and watching the magic of cannabis cultivation. 

In 2021, when we opened, there was—and there still is—a massive gap in the legal market for independent cannabis with caregiver values. 

The vast majority of cannabis you find in Michigan dispensaries has a massive corporate entity behind it. They don’t care about customer feedback. They certainly don’t know what it’s like to look a patient in the eyes as a caregiver. They treat cannabis as a commodity, and they’re only in it for the money. 

We think all the smaller entrepreneurs struggling against these commercial forces are an inspiration and deserve a ton of credit.

In a world of dispos popping up everywhere, what really makes you stand out?

We’re the only microbusiness in Ann Arbor, which means we grow and process 100% of the cannabis products we sell under one roof.

 All of our plants are grown in living soil using organic methods. Outside of flower, we make edibles, solventless hash and rosin, concentrates, vape carts, and pretty much everything you’ll find at any dispensary. 

We’re proud of what we do, and it’s not an exaggeration to say we do pretty much all of it by hand. When customers give our budtenders feedback, they bring it directly to me and to the rest of the back-of-house crew.

How do you help break down the stigma of recreational marijuana?

We are grateful to be in Ann Arbor, where the stigma surrounding cannabis is a little less of an issue. But there are still barriers and plenty of hypocrisy. 

So, we try to lead by example. 

Instead of trying to sell people on the sexiest packaging, cheapest prices, and quote-unquote “strongest” cannabis, when people shop at Winewood, they are greeted by a knowledgeable and passionate team who treat them like friends and family.

What’s one cool product you sell that everyone should know about, and why?

Has to be our Old School Hash! 

Like everything else, Winewood Bubble Hash starts with cannabis plants grown in living organic soil. Then, following the same natural, manual washing process practiced for hundreds of years, we separate trichomes from inert plant material to produce some of the smoothest hash you can find in Michigan.

Have you ever seen cannabis transform someone’s life?

Of course, we see it all the time! 

It’s important to remind people that everyone is different. But when I think back on every time someone personally told me how cannabis or CBD improved a major facet of their life—whether relating to mental health, physical health relationships, or work—it makes me smile and feel very grateful that I do this for a living.

We love good stories. Tell us a story about how you saw cannabis bringing people together.

Over the past decade-plus, cannabis seems to have evolved from a counter-cultural taboo to a cross-cultural connector. 

The Hash Bash may seem like an extreme example of this to outsiders, but when we meet people there, the range of backgrounds and different walks of life is always incredible. 

We all gather on the diag to support cannabis legalization and reform in Michigan and across the country because we all understand the importance of this plant!

How did your own life journey lead you to opening your own dispensary?

I was a caregiver for years before opening Winewood. The perspective I gained from listening to people and looking them in the eyes is something that you can’t simulate. It’s that same approach we have at Winewood now.

Whether someone uses cannabis in a recreational sense or if they use it for any form of relief, we listen intently to their feedback about our products and try to inject it directly back into our entire [growth] and production process.

What’s your approach to helping new customers just getting started in the world of cannabis?

We have the best budtenders in Michigan. They’ve seen it all and are incredible at what they do. They listen respectfully to each customer and know our products – strength, effects, etc. – like the back of their hand. 

Since we also make CBD products and products that blend CBD and THC, we think we’re the perfect place for beginners to explore the world of cannabis.

Where do you hope to see the state of Michigan’s cannabis industry in five years?

It would be unrealistic to expect that the pendulum will swing in the complete opposite direction as it stands today. But to put it mildly, I hope that there is a greater balance between corporate cannabis and their interests and smaller craft growers and independent shops.

More info

🕒 Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

☎️ Phone: 

(734) 929-2297

📍 Address:

2394 Winewood Ave.

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

READ MORE: 9 quick hits of cannabis news from across Michigan

How this Ann Arbor dispensary stays true to its family-owned roots

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