6541 E Lafayette St., Detroit
Utopia Gardens Kosher Tangie Cartridge
Medie Edie’s Yeti Stones
How and when did your provisioning center start up?
Utopia Gardens opened in December 2017. We started out as a caregiver grow [operation]. As the grow facility began to provide good quality flower to our patients, we started to find that many more people than we could legally serve started to ask us for our flower. We soon realized that the only legal way to serve all these other medical patients with cards was to open the collective. By the time we opened Utopia Gardens, we were growing 31 different strains of marijuana. Today, those same strains are available at the collective; they are the backbone of our collective.
What’s the story behind the name of your provisioning center?
In a world of turmoil, Utopia is a place where everything is perfect. Gardens is a place where cultivated plants are displayed. We wanted our collective to reflect the finest products that are available from the cannabis plant and present them in our safe haven.
What does your provisioning center offer patients that they can’t find anywhere else?
All of our employees take a cannabis science and education certification course (at the Trichome Institute) so they are able to help guide our patients to make the best possible medicinal decisions with our products. We also have a very curated selection of vendors, with a requirement that every product is accompanied with test results.
How has the cannabis industry changed since you have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go?
Michigan has evolved from a medical cannabis environment where patients could only get medication from their caregiver to a more open and accessible model with collectives. This has been huge for the patients to gain access to all the varieties of wonderful cannabis products out there and for them to also get quality tested products. Utopia Gardens is hoping that the people of Michigan vote “yes” for recreational marijuana.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this industry as a provisioning center? . . . Biggest joys? The challenges for Utopia Gardens come from several fronts. First, the state of Michigan compliance and regulations are for the patients and we need to make sure our patients are taken care of. This means that we must be diligent about all aspects of the business. One example is to test everything that we stock. Secondly, when we started our collective, we made a solemn vow to ourselves and our patients that we would supply only the best products available. We grow our own flower and have some of the finest growers working for us so we know that we can deliver only the best.
What is the one thing you want patients to know about your provisioning center?
The number one thing that is always on the top of our list is this: When you come to Utopia Gardens, you will find the best products that we can find on the market, that they will be fairly priced and that you will be served by our trained and dedicated staff. We started small. We spent almost three years in our caregiver grow tending to plants before we felt that we knew enough to even think about opening a true collective. We hand watered the plants and fed them and hand trimmed them and learned how to nurture them. Start at the bottom and learn to love the plant. Everything will follow after that.
What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the cannabis community?
Utopia Gardens’ approach has been simple. We want to stay small enough to continue to offer personal service to our collective. Michigan is about to have many, many big companies come into the state to take advantage of the market. We made a company decision early on that we would offer our craft in a small and humble way. As this tumultuous business picks up pace in this state, we want to be the boutique collective that people can turn to count on for quality and service in these uncertain times.