After the 2011 Metro Lansing medical marijuana dispensary bubble and its subsequent pop, local cannabis provision centers have mostly flown under the radar. They’ve also been mostly relegated to small shops on the city’s south side, where diminished visibility has kept them from mainstream traffic — and mainstream customers. But next week, Greenwave Dispensary will open to medical marijuana patients in the most prominent location yet for such a business, and that high profile is part of the plan.
“My brother and I grew up in Lansing, and we wanted to do something that would benefit the community,” said Thomas Mayes, who co-owns/operates Greenwave with his brother, Michael Mayes. “When we came across this building, we knew this was perfect for what we were looking to do. We’re very patient-focused and we’re here is to help people get better. (Greenwave) has the potential be unlike anything else being done locally.”
The building, on the corner of Oakland Avenue and Cedar Street just north of downtown Lansing, was originally built as an Arby’s restaurant. It has also served as a fast casual chicken restaurant and a gold/silver exchange over the last seven years. Most recently, the property has become home to the Capital City Food Court, which has waxed and waned with food trucks over the last two years. Current denizens are Detroit Frankie’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Maria’s Cuisine, which specializes in Mexican fare.
“We’re doing everything possible to accommodate the vendors onsite and encourage more food trucks to join them,” Thomas Mayes said. “Our goal is to add to community, and the only way to do that is to figure out an amicable way to help both the existing businesses and our customers.”
The brothers spent upwards of six figures to transform the building, including adding a secure sales floor and separate consultation rooms. There’s also a kitchen left over from its days as a restaurant, but the Mayes haven’t determined how to best utilize it. One possibility: a medible production facility.
“This is still a relatively new industry, so getting things like (a commercial kitchen) going are still complicated,” Michael Mayes said. “But we’re open to everything at this point.”
Michael Mayes has spent several years researching dispensaries, both nationally and internationally, as part of Quantum 9, a marijuana consulting and technology business out of Chicago. He looked at everything being done right — and wrong — in Colorado and throughout Michigan and is trying to apply those lessons to Greenwave.
“Safety was a very important part of our design process,” he said. “This is a very well-lit, clean building, and it’s on one of the busiest corners in the city. We want to make sure that we’re able to reach the widest possible group, and get people who may be skeptical about (medical marijuana) to see this as a viable solution to their pain or other needs.”
Greenwave will feature between 15 and 25 strains, which are being selected to target ailments such as chronic pain and side effects to cancer treatment. A portion of Greenwave’s proceeds will benefit the Homeless Hotel in south Lansing, in keeping with the community focus. And although marijuana is still federally illegal, Greenwave is well positioned to be a central hub if pot is ever legalized.
“Adult (recreational) use is something we’re definitely ready to transition to, but right now our focus is on patients,” Thomas Mayes said. “We’re willing to adapt to whatever the future holds.”
A sign in the window for Bangkok House announced that the Thai restaurant, which has been closed for renovations following an electrical fire in June, will reopen today.
“The public is going to be really impressed when they see the changes,” said Chris Buck, business manager for McCardel Restoration, which handled the construction. “The owners envisioned something very special. It looks incredible.”
Buck said the restaurant’s booths and chairs were restored, but everything else is brand new — ceilings, flooring (including both carpeted and tiled areas), bathrooms and kitchen. Insurance issues waylaid the process, but Buck said once all the red tape was cut, restoration work was fairly straightforward.
“This place is an institution,” he said. “There’s been this massive outpouring of support as longtime customers see we’re close to being ready to open. They’ve been taping love letters on the door. I’ve never even heard of anything like that happening.”
This week, Capital Vine, on the northern end of Eastwood Towne Center, will hold a soft opening to the public. Billed as a “modern wine bar, bistro and lounge,” the spinoff of neighboring Capital Prime will feature a menu of small-plate offerings to complement its wine list.
The space features a private dining area, a four-season room and an outdoor patio with a fireplace. I’ll give you the full scoop next week.
Greenwave Dispensary (slated to open next week) 500 E. Oakland Ave., Lansing (517) 763-2717, greenwavemi.com
Bangkok House 420 E. Saginaw St., Lansing 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5-9 p.m. Monday- Friday; 5-9 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday (517) 487-6900
Capital Vine 2320 Showtime Drive, Lansing 3 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; 3-10 p.m. Sunday-Monday (517) 377-8463, capitalvinelansing.com