In less than two weeks, thousands of pot smoking (and fully vaccinated) students and staff are poised to return to Michigan State University for their first day of class on Sept. 1. And to help them get through the stress of the new semester, two marijuana retailers have set up shop on opposite ends of campus on some of the most coveted cannabis real estate in Greater Lansing.
Pure Options launches Lansing’s largest pot shop in Frandor
One of the busiest shopping plazas in the Capital City is about to see some more traffic next week after Pure Options opens its sixth location at the edge of the Frandor Shopping Center — just a few minutes west of MSU, adjacent to the former Sears building near Michigan Avenue.
The new pot shop, at 125 N. Clippert St. officially opens its doors for recreational sales on Monday (Aug. 23). A grand opening weekend kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 26, complete with food vendors, product giveaways and live music — including a highly anticipated performance from a certain artist who attended Michigan State University and has headlined Electric Forest. (A spokesman said the performer is not being identified because he prefers to handle his own publicity.)
The staff there offered me an exclusive sneak peek last week. And y’all are in for a real treat. This behemoth of a building most recently housed the Paul Mitchell beauty school but has been entirely remodeled to serve as Pure Options’ flagship storefront. And at nearly 10,000 square feet, it easily earns the title of the largest cannabis retailer in the city. Dozens of glass display cases also promise to hold one of the widest selections in the region — everything from bud, pre-rolled joints, edibles and concentrates to glassware, T-shirts, rolling papers and much more. Medical licensing is a work in progress, but card-carrying patients will receive a 10% discount.
The walls are covered with more television screens than a sports bar, which will display product photos and other details. Customers can examine (and smell) dozens of strains for themselves. About 40 “puristas” will also be on staff to help customers navigate the expansive menu. Kiosks will also be available for antsier customers who would rather skip out on the small talk with staff.
Grab-and-go shoppers like me will also be thrilled to hear that curbside pickup will be available.
Pure Options was originally founded by caregivers and coalesced into a Lansing mainstay in 2017, which then included Old 27 Wellness and Stateside Wellness — both are now rebranded as Pure Options. The highly coveted Frandor location marks the company’s fourth store in Greater Lansing. Two others have also opened in Muskegon and Mount Pleasant, as well as a state-of-the-art cultivation facility operating out of the former Pro Bowl building in north Lansing.
CEO and 2015 MSU alumnus Sam Usman Jr. said he started Pure Options with an investment of only about $6,856 in 2010. And he plans to keep the company rooted in Lansing, including plans to double his staff to 600 people, launch another 65,000-square-foot growing operation in Lansing this year and eventually expand wholesale distribution into nearby states.
A “seedling room” of the store will eventually be dedicated to selling clones for home growing. Usman’s other pet project includes an invitation-only “VIP Room” at the Frandor location, which will include only the finest selection of premium (and expensive) bud, which he’ll curate himself.
Think of it sort of like going in the back and tapping into a barrel with the founder of a distillery.
Pincanna opens pot shop tower on eastern edge of MSU
There’s no livelier dispensary in Greater Lansing than Pincanna’s newest three-story shop on the eastern edge of Michigan State University, which just opened for recreational and medical sales at 1234 E. Grand River Ave., just west of the Hagadorn Road intersection.
I was there for the grand opening, and so was about half of the population of East Lansing.
Pincanna — which bills itself among the state’s “leading cannabis brands” — is based in Farmington Hills and named in honor of its 135,000-square-foot growing operation in Pinconning. The company is largely focused on wholesale distribution but operates another shop in Kalkaska and also plans to expand its retail footprint into Kalamazoo later this year.
Cofounder and MSU alumnus Rob Nusbaum gave me a tour of the former apartment building.
“This was truly the most sought after location in Michigan,” Nusbaum said. “Arguably, this is still currently the top location in the state. East Lansing only allowed four licenses, and only one of them is within walking distance to campus. This could be the highest volume store in the state.”
The first floor is dedicated to recreational products. The second floor is only for medical patients and includes a private consultation room for customers looking for advice on product selection. The third floor is the fulfillment center, where staff send down orders through a dumbwaiter.
Custom display cases, oversized graphics and vintage marijuana posters added to the colorful backdrop of the store. Dozens of screens were flashing with product images and other details. More than 60 employees have also been hired to staff the towering new location near campus.
A sculpture named “Vital Nature” was also recently installed out front, commissioned by Detroit artist Foster Willey to personify the company’s themes of nature, health, wellness and vitality.
Shoppers can place pre-orders at pincanna.com, pick up curbside or shop in the store every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nusbaum said delivery options are set to launch within the coming weeks.
Kyle Kaminski is City Pulse’s managing editor and a cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Almost weekly, Kaminski samples some of the best cannabis products available in Greater Lansing, gets real high and writes about them.