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ADRIAN, Mich. — States are gradually beginning to restart their economies in phases.

Meanwhile, Michigan has one enterprise that’s been raking in the green — and dishing it out — all along.

It’s no question that many small businesses have taken a beating over the last several weeks. But one industry continuing to ride a high is the marijuana industry. 

The co-owner of North Coast Provisions in Adrian, for example, says he has not seen a lull in business since the dispensary began selling recreational marijuana on April 24.

“Since going recreational, even during the pandemic, we’ve seen a big spike obviously,” co-owner Sean McQuarrie said. “I think just that novelty of wanting to go out that first week. We saw a lot of first-timers.”

McQuarrie’s shop opened up in August 2019. When recreational sales began, business started blooming right away.

“I think a lot of people are at home right now and marijuana use has kind of gone up a little bit because there’s not a lot to do, right? A lot of people are at home right now,” he said.

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency reported more than $30.3 million worth of marijuana sold in March, an increase from $25.7 million in February and $25.2 million in January.

MRA March 2020 report

Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency

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McQuarrie said it bluntly shows why the budding industry is considered essential.

“I think it’s two-part,” he said. “I think the state sees that there are a lot of people who need this medicine. It’s kind of how they get through their day-to-day and it’s important to their daily lives. And then the other side of it is obviously the tax revenue it generates.”

McQuarrie said he is taking precautions like many businesses: social distancing, gloves and masks.

Like many Michigan dispensaries, North Coast is offering curbside service as well. The MRA issued a bulletin on March 16 allowing for marijuana dispensaries to provide temporary curbside service. 

McQuarrie said he hopes that policy won’t take a hit post-pandemic so his store can continue to provide flower to the people.

“Hopefully the state will put things in place where we’re allowed to do this curbside service, even after they lift the stay-at-home (order),” he said.

Until then, the new dealers in town are hoping the high demand is here to stay.

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