March 30 2011 12:00 AM

3340 Lake Lansing Road, Suite 1, Meridian Township Hours: M-F 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (517) 333-4842


The Herbal Center is tucked away in a strip mall at the corner of Lake Lansing Road and Smith Avenue across the street from Whitehills Park in Meridian Township. However, its pedestrian facade contrasts with its expansive, colorful and modern interior. The open floor plan reveals a large, undeveloped section in the back, which will be a functional kitchen for classes and cooking medibles onsite.

Newcomers may opt for a voluntary lifetime membership for $20, which offers discounts, a monthly newsletter and free cooking classes, along with the center’s full line of medicine and medibles.

The Herbal Center has a resident cook who serves up an impressive line of medibles, including candies, baked goods, cooking sauces and special-order items like lasagna. Baked goods are $5 and sauces are $15. The cook indicated the sauce is fairly potent and has a decent shelf life. The active ingredient in these medibles is THC oil (as opposed to cannabutter), which is reportedly easier to work with and less prone to separation and inconsistency.

Medicines range from $15 to $20 a gram for nonmembers. Hash and kief are also available at fairly typical prices for this area, $20 to $25. The Herbal Center also has massage oils, lotions and other topical agents for relieving pain and other symptoms.

When I visited, there were eight $15 varieties and 12 $20 varieties of cannabis. These included indicas, sativas and hybrid strains.

The Pure Kush, a strong indica-dominant hybrid originating from southern California, was a bit harsh when smoked and had a slightly sweet finish. However, it lived up to its reputation as a medicine for alleviating pain and soothing nerves without leaving the patient too tired or fatigued. I gave the PK a second go by vaporizing it, which brought out a richer taste with hints of stevia (a natural sweetener) and basil. The effect was a more pleasant, sustained feeling of well being and serenity.

The Herbal Center is worth checking out for its patient-focused service and comprehensive selection of medibles and medicines. Keep in mind that the store will soon offer physician recommendation services and cooking classes. The Herbal Center is filling a void of dispensaries on this side of town and does so in a professional way.