2201 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing (517) 574-5605 Hours:

M-F Noon-8 p.m.

Sat-Sun Noon-6 p.m.

The Compassionate Apothecary is in a two-story house built in the late 1920s, converted for commercial use and situated within easy walking distance of seven other dispensaries on Michigan Avenue. Early to the dispensary business (Compassionate Apothecary opened last summer), “C.A.” — as it is called in its print material and on its website — is one of three apothecaries operated by the same group of individuals. The other two sites are in Traverse City and Mt. Pleasant.

C.A.’s website is one of the best I have visited, chock full of resources, information about the efficacy of strains for a variety of ailments, pricing information and seemingly updated dispensary operation information.

The front room is a check-in area for new and existing patients. Information about events, petitions and other information is displayed for reference. My credentials were checked and I was informed that a monthly $5 membership fee was required, which entitled one to participate in drawings and enter the private area of the club where medicine is available for purchase.

Past the front room, glass cases line the walls and are crammed with more varieties of marijuana than I could count. We were told it was more than 80 different strains. The individual assisting us was very knowledgeable about the properties of all of the medicine and could make recommendations based on patient symptoms. Prices ranged from the lower teens to much higher pricing for exotic items like Ron John’s Permafrost Caviar at $55 a gram. Pricing with sample photos and test results of potency (carried out by Cannalytics) are also posted on the C.A. website for patient reference.

As closing time approached, we had to choose despite an overwhelming selection of marijuana. Similarly, the “medible” options were much more plentiful than what I’ve seen at other dispensaries. Numerous baked goods, gel caps, oils, candies and a cannabis-infused lemonade were available. I selected a two-pack of Farmies chocolate chip cookies for $6, a Farmies brownie with peanut butter chips for the same price and a gram of Lemon OG for $18. I was cautioned to eat only one cookie at a time and to split the brownie, which turned out to be sound advice.

I consumed one of the cookies on a Saturday morning and felt a pleasant, intense head and body buzz within one hour which lasted well into late afternoon and early evening. I smoked the Lemon OG — a pure indica with a lighter, hoppy, citrusy aroma that was accentuated when the resiny bud was broken open. The effect was an immediate feeling of relaxation, wellbeing and peacefulness, consistent with indica strains. I imagine the lemon flavor would be enhanced through vaporization.

C.A. seems to be focused on the quality and diversity of their cannabis products, patient access and information, and service that exceeds other dispensaries I have reviewed. The staff are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly, and the Lansing C.A. location has a relaxed, homey feel to it.