Aug. 17 2011 12:00 AM

718 W. Saginaw St., Lansing (517) 993-5357 Hours: M-Sat 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.


Mid-Michigan Caregivers on Saginaw Street
between Wisconsin Avenue and Sycamore Street inhabits a former
automobile parts storefront that has seen better days. I visited on a
recent weekday afternoon after two unsuccessful attempts during
advertised dispensary hours. 

I was greeted and had my credentials
checked thoroughly, which has become common practice and a positive step
in legitimizing the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program licensing
process. I have discussed this noticeable attention to credentials with
dispensary operators and some have been burned by inadequate inspection
or counterfeit licenses, or both. Beyond a thorough credential check,
there isn’t much to this ramshackle location: just a front counter and a
separate side counter displaying medicine.

I asked about available services and
prices for products like hard candies, baked goods and topical hash oils
but was told that the store did not have most items other than raw
cannabis. Mid-Michigan Caregivers does not offer physician appointments
or any other clinical services. It does sell clones, though I did not
investigate these during my visit. 

I asked several additional questions and
the individual helping me wondered aloud why I was asking all of these
questions. In my experience, most dispensary operators enjoy talking
about their operations — in fact, many are hard to disengage — so this
was surprising to me. I instead focused on the product available.

This dispensary had 13 strains at $10 a
gram and 14 at $15 a gram — a very good selection of reasonably priced
grams for the Lansing market. There was quite a range of strains, but
most were fairly typical of what is available locally. The staffer was
knowledgeable about stocked cannabis strains and offered useful
suggestions about the best matches for various health conditions.

I selected the blue dragon at $10 a gram — which is an
indica-sativa hybrid — largely for its pungent aroma. The employee
provided a generously sized, dense gram. I decided to smoke this strain
and the effect was a very rapid but satisfying cerebral pleasure, more
indicative of a sativa variety. The quality of the cannabis was top
notch and as good as most higher-priced grams I have sampled.

Mid-Michigan Caregivers offers discounts
to veterans, and there is no membership fee. The employee indicated that
hours are somewhat variable during the summer months, so you may want
to call ahead to make sure they are open when planning a visit.

What is emerging in the Lansing area
dispensary business are locations that offer a broader array of clinical
services in addition to medical cannabis in an effort to build an
engaged customer base. It is best to shop around for a clinic that is a
good match for your needs as a patient.