April 27 2011 12:00 AM

2312 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing Hours: M-Sat 11 a.m.-8 p.m.


Like a fortress of solitude, Evolve
Medical Marijuana Services is located on Michigan Avenue between Lansing
Art Glass and Alternative Choice Clinic on Lansing’s east side. Parking
is available on the street in front and also in the back of this
business. I paid a visit on a recent Thursday around 5:30 p.m. and
attempted to enter through the front door next to Evolve’s neon "Open"
sign. But the entrance was locked and all of the windows and doors were
covered with what looked like contact paper. I knocked without response,
then walked to the back entrance and spotted a door with a roof awning
labeled “Entrance.” When I knocked at this locked door, I was greeted
with a muffled, “Yeah?” When I explained I was trying to find the
entrance, I was directed back to the front door. An employee opened the
door a smidge and checked my identification. He then asked for my state
medical marijuana registry card, which I don’t have yet because of the
state’s backlog. Patients are supposed to take their application copies
with completed certifications and proof of payment as legitimate
documents to demonstrate program eligibility. 

The employee indicated the application
had to be “stamped” by the state Department of Community Health in order
to be valid. One would only possess a stamped application copy if one
hand-carried paperwork to the state office and requested a copy. I tried
to argue this point, but the employee was unflappable. I was able to
crane my neck to see that there was a lobby and service counter with
medicines. Reportedly, this business sells medicine, medibles and

I tried to follow-up by telephone and
discovered the number listed in City Pulse’s online directory was not
working. I paid a second visit to Evolve at 7 p.m. on a Monday and found
the business closed with the lights and the neon sign turned off. I
knocked loudly to no response. There was a 3-1-3 area code number on a
help wanted sign in the window. I called and spoke with the proprietor,
who informed me that Evolve only accepts valid cards and applications
that are stamped. When I indicated this would only cover individuals who
applied in person to the state registry, he confirmed this was their
policy. I asked about business hours and he indicated they were open 11
a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. I stated they were closed at
the time of my visit and he indicated they must have been open. I told
him I was standing outside the business and they were definitely closed,
to which he replied: “They should be open.”

While other dispensaries in town have a well-organized staff and operation, Evolve looks like it needs more time to … evolve.