Find good vibes, good prices and even better selection at the Cake House


As Michigan’s cannabis industry matures, operators are shuffling around their retail and production assets to better deal with market saturation or, in many cases, the realities of their own capacities and levels of expertise. This offers opportunities for new businesses to secure retail licenses and establish themselves in the shadow of some first-generation legal-market retailers. I stopped by a dispensary that recently opened, the Cake House in south Lansing, to see what we should expect from this new generation of operators.

The retailer is based in Southern California but has moved into the Michigan market in the last year and a half, opening locations in Battle Creek, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Pleasant Ridge. The company is self-described as women- and minority-led and places a heavy emphasis on spreading knowledge and carrying a wide variety of products at various price points.

The South Cedar Street location was home to a gray-market retailer back in the caregiver days, and it’s cool to see the storefront come full circle. Before I even stepped into the store, I was already impressed with the variety of products. From high-THC, low-cost flower to distillate carts, gummies and much more, it offers all the products customers demand.

The kicker is that it also carries a large assortment of flower from cultivators that aren’t represented in many other retail locations — many of them selling their quality flower at a super competitive price point, if not below market pricing. This has allowed the Cake House to offer a lot of strain variety for every budget and palate.

My knowledgeable and friendly budtender, Anthony, suggested some LA Kush Cake from Oregon-based cultivator Belushi’s Farm. I’ve covered this outfit before, and I have to say, it really hit it out of the park with this strain. The earthy vanilla flavor makes this indica one of my favorites, and the cultivators really have the genetics dialed in on this version. I’ve enjoyed this strain at the end of long days since I picked it up.

Concentrates are an area where I think the Cake House can hang its hat. The Lansing location offers a great variety, from $60 quarter-ounces of live resin to a range of top-shelf hash options from Ice Kream Hash Co., Peachy Hash & Co., Known, 710 Labs, 710 Savant and Hypha. The store’s attention to quality is obvious, from how it stores the concentrates in a cooler to the manner in which the employees describe the terpene profiles, effects and their fairly sophisticated understanding of hash production.

The staff was able to help me find a couple of top-notch concentrate options: a budget live resin from Freshy Fine and a 2-gram bucket of Ice Cream Runtz live rosin from Hypha, processed by longtime industry powerhouse 42 Degrees.

I was familiar with Hypha from carrying its flower when I ran dispensaries. The company grows its plants in living soil, which contains microorganisms that help break down organic matter and provide important nutrients for the cannabis plant. Many, myself included, believe this growing method gives the plants a richer and more vibrant terpene profile. This, in turn, makes cannabis grown in living soil especially great for producing solventless hash.

Hypha and 42 Degrees really threw down on this concentrate. The coloring and consistency align with much more expensive varieties of live rosin, and the taste has sweet undertones, reminding me of Wedding Cake. The Runtz strain in the mix adds to the sweetness and gives the draw a more textured feel and a bolder flavor. I have thoroughly enjoyed this pick and already regret not buying more.

The Cake House seems to have the right variety of products and price points to make it in our competitive market. Its values are obviously steeped in cannabis counterculture, and it shows in the store’s inventory, vibe and customer service. The company understands our market and consumers, and for what it’s worth, it also seems to understand retail. If the Cake House can ensure the customer experience stays the same across its retail chains, I expect to see it around for a long time.

cannabis, dispensary, live resin, live rosin, lansing dispensary.


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