This Q&A is part of a daily series highlighting the many medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries across Greater Lansing. Check back for a new post every day this week. And stay tuned for our 4/20 print edition, which publishes on April 14 this year.
How long has your company been in business?
Our first retail location opened in Tawas in October 2019.
How long in the Lansing area?
Franklin Fields opened in November 2020, The Botanical Co. opened in December 2020.
Briefly walk us through the story of how (and why) your company got started.
Our founders, Russ Chambers and Mike Demmer, started in the industry under the caregiver model when medical marijuana was legalized. Chambers had a passion for understanding how cannabis can be used to improve people’s lives. From getting people off opiates, to relieving the side effects from cancer or alleviating daily pain — this fueled their passion to expand into retail.
Where did you get the idea for this company?
Our founders wanted to expand from the caregiver model.
What was the mission you set out to accomplish?
Our mission is “bringing good people together to enhance lives by creating extraordinary cannabis experiences.” That mission is at the foundation of the culture we are creating within our company, the relationships we build with our customers, our industry partners, the business community and the communities we serve. Creating extraordinary cannabis experiences encompasses all of that and extends to giving back to our community through our support of organizations like Last Prisoner Project, The Redemption Foundation and Sons & Daughters.
Who is on the leadership team and what sorts of backgrounds do they bring to the table?
CEO Russ Chambers is an entrepreneur and his family has a long line of entrepreneurship, COO Brian Gruber had a 20-plus year career as an operations executive with experience in global manufacturing. Director of Processing and Quality Tiffany Coleman is an award-winning and published cannabis industry and quality expert. Director of Marketing and Communications Jayme Taylor is a 24-year marketing executive, Head Grower Matt Mooney is an expert grower with over a decade of experience cultivating premium flower. Director of Retail Operations Erin Newcomb is a retail executive with over 10 years of multi-store retail, sales, and leadership experience. Director of Finance Jennifer Ray is a CPA with over 10 years experience working with one of the nation’s top public accounting firms and the U.S. Department of Defense. Director of Social Responsibility & Advocacy Jamie Lowell is the co-author of the cannabis legalization law and a dedicated activist with a long history of working hard to legalize cannabis and advocate for drug reform.
Briefly walk me through the scope of your company.
We are a vertically integrated cannabis company with two open retail locations — Lansing and Tawas — with a third location in Kalkaska opening in the next couple of months. We also operate a 32,000 square-foot cultivation division, Franklin Fields, in Lansing as well as a processing division, BioBizz opening this year. We also have a social use lounge, Kalkushka, opening this summer.
Where can people find your company’s products statewide?
The Botanical Co in Lansing, Tawas, and soon Kalkaska. Our flower can also be found in the Redemption brand of cannabis products, and other retailers. We’re currently expanding our wholesale sales out of Franklin Fields, so this list changes regularly.
How many employees do you have, both locally and across the entirety of the company?
Seventy-five in Lansing, 87 statewide. By the end of 2020, that number will be closer to 100.
How has business been lately?
Growing. Our Lansing location opened in December and we are steadily building a loyal customer base. The Tawas location is strong with a very loyal following. We are in growth mode with the addition of recreational sales last April and the opening of our Lansing store.
What sets your provisioning center(s) apart from others on the local market?
Our people and our culture. We strive daily to live our mission, which equates to making cannabis approachable no matter where our customer is on the cannabis spectrum. From the canna-curious to the cannasseur, our BoCo staff is dedicated to providing the level of respect, compassion and expertise our customers deserve.
What does this company hope to accomplish?
We want to change the stigma attached to cannabis by providing extraordinary cannabis experiences for our customers and the community. Plans include two more retail locations each year for the next five years and further expansion of our cultivation division.
Where do you see this company 10 years from now?
At the forefront of the Michigan cannabis industry. Setting the standards for our industry and being the employer of choice because of the culture we work hard to create.
Any exciting new products on the shelves lately?
Franklin Fields flower is now on shelves, which are exclusive strains not found in Michigan. Concentrates and cartridges will also hit shelves in April.
What are some of your favorite strains?
Member Berry, Lemon G and Burkle.