May 18 2011 12:00 AM

1419 Turner St., Lansing (517) 819-8167 Hours: M, W, F; 3 p.m.-7 p.m.


Buono’s Medical Marijuana Caregivers is
located on the west side of Turner Street near North Street in a
single-story, compact, brick building, in the middle of an
industrial-looking zone. This Old Town neighbor to the north has fairly
limited hours owing to the owner’s other businesses, but he indicated he
would be expanding hours with the addition of new staff. 

The tiny shop has a small lobby and no
waiting area. There are several glass cases and an extensive collection
of pipes, mostly made of brilliantly colored glass. After having my
credentials and identification checked out, I had a short conversation
with the owner who was, as is the case in my experience with dispensary
owners and caregivers, quite affable and eager to discuss operations,
the origin and quality of strains and future plans.

Buono’s had 13 strains available Monday,
ranging from $8 to $20. I was unfamiliar with several strains, though
cannabis growers experiment with strains and name the fruits of their
labors with humor and imagination. 

Buono’s MMC had a very limited selection
of edible medicine, including no-bake chocolate cookies. I selected one
medible (two cookies for $4) and one strain — the HGB "home-grown" — at
$12 a gram. 

One cookie had the typical slow build to a
mild head buzz after one hour, peak performance for about two hours and
a slow tapering of its psychoactive effects after about five hours. The
no-bakes were made with cannabutter, which I find tastes better in most
products and has much more pleasant effects than edibles made with THC
oil. The cookies are a great option for patients with mild to moderate
pain who need or want to be alert, active and engaged without
significant impact on cognitive functioning.

I decided to vaporize the HGB to fully
experience its range of characteristics — aroma, flavor and mouth feel —
without the burn flavor that comes from combusting marijuana. The HGB
was a very bright green bud with no distinctive aroma. It also had a
basic cannabis flavor and mouth feel — that is, not very exotic, but it
did the trick admirably. HGB is a work horse, not a show horse, and a
good value for $12 a gram.

Buono’s has a grittier, blue-collar feel
and a friendly vibe with the added benefits of being adjacent to hip Old
Town and out of the reach of a draft ordinance to restrict new
dispensaries to industrially zoned areas of Lansing. If you are looking
for a simple, unpretentious dispensary with a range of strains and
prices, this might the shop for you. Buonos is bueno!