March 23 2016 12:41 AM

Nature’s Alternative offers upscale dispensary experience

One of Lansing’s newest dispensaries, Nature’s Alternative, opened up on the northeast corner of Cedar Street and Greenlawn Avenue in January. This is the second Nature’s Alternative shop in Michigan; the first opened in Detroit back in 2009.

I pulled up and parked in the lot behind the building. The first thing I noticed was that there are no marijuana leaves or pictures on the building or its signage. It sports a simple sign and awning with the shop’s logo on it. I tried to enter through the Review front door, only to find a sign that instructs visitors to enter in the back. So I walked back around to the rear door.

Once I entered, I found myself in a large, well-lit waiting area. This shop is elegant, but not without security. I approached the large — presumably bullet-proof — glass window and provided my state ID and medical marijuana card. My friends who joined me on this trip did the same. After a short wait, an attendant came out to greet us and escort us to the Green Room.

The Green Room was also bright and clean and had a professional feel. There were four service stations for patients, and we picked one and walked up together. The budtender greeted us and explained Nature’s Alternative’s options. I was glad to hear that all of the medicine is lab tested and that each package is marked with the percentage of indica and sativa.

It took me a few minutes to look through the selections; the shop offers about 40 strains to pick from. The budtender asked questions to help us find the best strains for our needs. As I went through smelling the jars, I noticed that one of my favorites, DJ Short's Blueberry, was on sale for $25 for an eighth of an ounce. I had to pick some up. We also browsed the selection of more than 20 extracts. Many looked and smelled delicious.

The shop also offers CBD edibles, oils and even vape pens. Again, the budtender was quick with information, explaining the differences between the various products and their effects. I also found that the shop carries just about anything one would need to use cannabis, including pipes, papers and grinders.

Once back in the safety of my private property, I sat down to examine my flowers. DJ Short’s Blueberry is an indicadominant hybrid strain — 80 percent indica, 20 percent sativa — created by the noted marijuana breeder known as DJ Short. It is the best of its kind, featuring a striking blueberry aroma. When it is cured properly, this strains shines. The flower I got from Nature’s Alternative was grown and cured well. It had dense buds with red, purple and blue hues. It had the fruity aroma of blueberries with just a hint of citrus. Once I began breaking it up, the smell of blueberries filled the room. The taste was exactly as I’d hoped, and the burn was good. The high of this strain is euphoric and long-lasting. It starts with a head high that is uplifting, then drifts into a relaxing high that's great for sleep. If you are looking for relief from pain, anxiety or depression, give this strain a try.

Overall, I was impressed by the professionalism of Nature’s Alternative, and I appreciated the vast CBD selection. On my next visit, I plan on exploring those options.

Nature's Alternative offers a variety of medical marijuana products, including edibles, oils and vape pens.
Allan I. Ross/City Pulse

Nature’s Alternative

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday- Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday 2521 S. Cedar St., Lansing (517) 253-7290,