Montana Lawmakers Reject Department of Revenue’s Request to Fund State’s Adult-Use Cannabis Program


2021-01-12 01:59:00 Business Times


For having just expanded his dispensary business to sell cannabis product for adult use in December 2020, Casey Kornoelje brings a lot of plant-touching experience to the industry. He’s wielding that knowledge as he and his team work to vertically integrate Pharmhouse Wellness, the first adult-use dispensary in Grand Rapids, Mich., that is owned by a resident of the city. Kornoelje opened Pharmhouse Wellness as a medical provisioning center in March 2020. But prior to that, he had spent 10 years running a 30-acre cut flower farm north of Grand Rapids, where he also grew cannabis in pole barns. “In 2008, the state of Michigan rolled out the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program,” Kornoelje told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “I immediately enrolled as a caregiver and patient, so I was a patient myself, plus a caregiver of five. That allowed me to grow 72 plants total—72 all in—and I rocked that out from 2008 to this day.” (While the state has ended caregiver sourcing to dispensaries, Kornoelje notes that he is still legally growing for himself.) Going further back in time, Kornoelje was charged with felony cannabis manufacturing in 2001 and a misdemeanor cannabis possession in 2004. “As soon as I could discover how to grow the shit, I started growing it,” Kornoelje reflects. “I just wasn't quite as good at concealing it as I was at growing it. That led to a big disruption in my life. The felony charge has always been on my record and stuck with me. It’s stifled many different opportunities for me throughout the years, both career-, professional-wise and trying to go into the military services.” But things came around, as Kornoelje moved to the “cottage industry” of caregiver cultivation, then medical dispensing. His prior convictions, caregiver experience and residency in Grand Rapids scored Pharmhouse Wellness points through the state and city's social equity programs and allowed him to receive zoning priority and fee reductions for its adult-use operations. “We’re going to reinvest that money back into the local neighborhood,” Kornoelje said. “That could include projects like home ownership training, expungement clinics, business and home façade block grants, public safety and transit enhancements in front of the dispensary. Those are all just things that are on the peripheral, but that's definitely not the end of it. [Those are] just some things that are hot on our agenda.” Pharmhouse Wellness opened as a medical-only dispensary in March 2020—in a standalone 750-square-foot structure that was originally constructed in 1890 as a home, later zoned for light industrial, and which architects and engineers helped Kornoelje facelift. Within several days, Michigan government officials recognized the COVID-19 threat and prioritized social distancing over confined in-store customer experiences. Pharmhouse Wellness has only offered curbside and delivery for nearly the past 10 months. A lack of historical data on Michigan cannabis sales made COVID’s impact difficult to examine, Kornoelje said, adding, “My take of it is that people are home more. … You can't go into the mall as much, you can't go to the movie theaters, to the gyms. People are home more, and I do believe that that has driven some increased consumption on cannabis. “But we have noticed a definite slowdown in the fall, as the federal stimulus that was passed back in the summertime—the effects of that eventually ran out. So, we have seen demand be stable, but stable to declining in the fall time.” Pharmhouse Wellness is in the process of expanding, both through increasing its customer base and vertically integrating. In 2020, Grand Rapids began accepting and approving medical storefronts to expand into adult use. “The city, after [expressing] concern seeing very little local participation in the marijuana market, rolled out their social equity program in summer 2020 to increase participation by local and disproportionately affected individuals,” Kornoelje said. Recreational sales began in Grand Rapids in October. Pharmhouse held a celebration for its first adult-use sales on Dec. 19, where it hosted a coffee truck, “did swag bag giveaways” and offered specials, Kornoelje said. In addition, Redemption Cannabis owner and former cannabis prisoner Ryan Basore and Grand Rapids city commissioners attended. The company received a processor license and a Class 3 cultivation license (for 2,000 plants or fewer) in the summer and fall of 2020. It will cultivate and process cannabis in a 4,000-square-foot warehouse on a property located two parcels east of the dispensary. “We are trying to figure out how best to make all those licenses mesh in the relatively confined space,” Kornoelje said. “But the goal is to get the grow going first, and then once we have marijuana to process, then we’ll roll out the processor license last.” At Pharmhouse, 23 employees are responsible for getting a variety of products into customers’ hands, from flower to concentrates to edibles, topicals and vape cartridges. Mentioning his caregiver background and experience growing cannabis, Kornoelje said, “We love flower. We try to pride ourselves on having high-quality flower in the store. And knowing that people love flower, too, we've tried to link up with the best possible cultivators and people that we align ourselves with—not only from a quality standpoint but from a business-philosophy standpoint and a corporate culture standpoint.” As it plans to reinvest into the local community, Pharmhouse has engaged in other philanthropic efforts. In October 2020, the dispensary donated a portion of proceeds from Fresh Coast Extracts product to Migrant Legal Aid. And in December 2020, Pharmhouse donated proceeds from Fresh Coast to the West Michigan Cannabis Guild. Regarding demand for the team’s beloved flower, Kornoelje said, “People seem to want the highest-testing stuff, man, unfortunately, and that seems to be the recurring theme. Unfortunately, the terpenes and the flavonoids seem to fall to the back seat with most of our consumers. I would say some are heady enough to understand that THC is not the whole picture.” Some customer favorites include classics such as Wedding Cake, GMO, GG, Super Lemon Haze and various kush varieties. In speaking with CBT and CD, Kornoelje offered one dose of civic pride and one of thankfulness to those with whom he’s worked. “Like they say, ‘it takes a village,’ and it truly does,” he said. “There was a huge team of people, from [Pharmhouse’s communications contact] to my planner, who helped me with working on the land-use process, to the architect and the engineers—all the people that I had to work with to make the applications a reality—and then of course the city of Grand Rapids—the city commissioners, the planning commissioners, the mayor—all of them have been super supportive of what is the only locally owned cannabis shop in town."
在2020年12月,Casey Kornoelje刚刚扩大了他的药房业务,销售成人用大麻产品,他给这个行业带来了很多接触植物的经验。他和他的团队致力于纵向整合Pharmhouse Wellness,这是密歇根州大急流城的第一家成人药房,由该市居民拥有。 Kornoelje于2020年3月开设了Pharmhouse Wellness作为医疗供应中心。但在此之前,他已经花了10年时间在大急流城北部经营了一个30英亩的切花农场,在那里他还在杆仓里种植大麻。 Kornoelje告诉《大麻商业时报》和《大麻药房》,2008年,密歇根州推出了密歇根州医用大麻项目。我立即登记为一个照顾者和病人,所以我自己是一个病人,加上一个五人的照顾者。这让我总共种了72株植物,从2008年到今天,我一直在努力。(尽管州政府已经停止向药房采购护理人员,科诺埃莱耶指出,他仍在合法地为自己种植植物。) 再往前追溯,Kornoelje在2001年被控制造大麻重罪,2004年被控持有大麻轻罪。 Kornoelje说:“当我发现如何种植这种狗屎的时候,我就开始种植了。”我只是不太善于隐藏它,就像我善于种植它一样。那导致了我生活的大混乱。重罪的指控一直在我的记录上,而且一直在我身上。这些年来,它扼杀了我许多不同的机会,无论是在事业上,专业上,还是在尝试参军的过程中。 但是事情发生了,科尔诺埃莱开始从事家庭手工业,从事照顾者的种植,然后是医疗配药。他以前的犯罪记录,护理经验和在大急流城的居住经历通过州和市的社会公平计划为药房的健康打分,并允许他获得分区优先权和成人使用业务的费用减免。 我们打算把这些钱再投资到当地社区,科诺埃莱杰说。这可能包括一些项目,如房屋所有权培训,清除诊所,商业和家庭门面的整体补助,公共安全和公共交通的改善。这些都只是外围的东西,但这绝对不是它的结束。这些只是我们议程上的一些热点问题。 Pharmhouse Wellness于2020年3月作为一个仅供医疗使用的药房开业,这是一个独立的750平方英尺的建筑,最初建于1890年,是一个住宅,后来被划为轻工业区,建筑师和工程师帮助Kornoelje进行了整容。 几天之内,密歇根州政府官员就意识到了COVID-19的威胁,并将社交距离优先于局限的店内顾客体验。Pharmhouse Wellness在过去的近10个月里只提供路边服务和送货服务。 科诺埃莱说,由于缺乏密歇根州大麻销售的历史数据,因此很难研究科维德的影响。他补充说,我的理解是人们更多地是在家里。…你不能经常去购物中心,不能去电影院,不能去健身房。人们更多地回家了,我相信这也推动了大麻消费的增加。 但我们已经注意到秋季经济明显放缓,因为在夏季出台的联邦经济刺激计划的效果最终耗尽。因此,我们看到需求是稳定的,但在秋季由稳转降。 Pharmhouse Wellness正处于扩张的过程中,通过增加其客户基础和垂直整合。 2020年,Grand Rapids开始接受并批准医疗店面扩展到成人使用。Kornoelje说,在对当地很少参与大麻市场表示担忧之后,该市于2020年夏季推出了社会公平计划,以增加当地和受影响过大的个人的参与。 大急流城的娱乐销售于10月开始。Kornoelje说,Pharmhouse在12月19号为其首次成人销售举办了一次庆祝活动,举办了一辆咖啡车,进行了包袋赠送,并提供了特价商品。此外,救赎大麻拥有者,前大麻囚犯瑞安·巴索尔和大急流城市专员出席。 该公司在2020年夏季和秋季获得了加工商许可证和3类栽培许可证(用于2000株或更少的植物)。该公司将在药房东边两个地方的一个占地4000平方英尺的仓库里种植和加工大麻。Kornoelje说:我们正试图找出如何最好地使所有这些许可证在相对狭窄的空间中相互配合。但我们的目标是先让大麻种植起来,然后一旦我们有大麻要加工,我们就会推出最后的加工许可证。 在Pharmhouse,23名员工负责将各种各样的产品送到顾客手中,从鲜花到浓缩物到食用,局部用药和vape药筒。 提到他的照顾者背景和种植大麻的经验,Kornoelje说,我们喜欢花。我们以店里有高质量的鲜花而自豪。我们知道人们也喜欢花,所以我们努力与最好的栽培者和人建立联系,我们不仅从质量的角度,而且从商业哲学的角度和企业文化的角度与他们建立联系。 在计划对当地社区进行再投资的同时,Pharmhouse还参与了其他慈善活动。2020年10月,药房将Fresh Coast Extracts产品的部分收益捐赠给移民法律援助。2020年12月,Pharmhouse将Fresh Coast的收益捐给了西密歇根大麻协会。 对于车队心爱之花的需求,Kornoelje说,人们似乎想要最高考验的东西,伙计,不幸的是,这似乎是反复出现的主题。不幸的是,萜类化合物和黄酮类化合物似乎与我们的大多数消费者一起落到了后座。我想说的是,有些人很兴奋,他们明白THC并不是全部。有些顾客最喜欢的产品包括一些经典产品,如婚礼蛋糕,转基因食品,GG,超级柠檬雾霾和各种库什品种。 在与CBT和CD的谈话中,Kornoelje表达了一种公民的自豪感,同时也表达了对那些与他共事的人的感激之情。他说,就像他们说的,这需要一个村庄,而且确实如此。有一个庞大的团队,从(药房的通讯联络人)到我的规划师,他帮助我处理土地使用过程,再到建筑师和工程师,所有的人我必须与他们合作才能使这些申请成为现实,当然还有大急流城,市政委员,规划委员,市长,他们所有的人都非常支持这个镇上唯一的本地大麻店,“