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New to Gaylord: Medical Marijuana Cooperative

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GAYLORD – The owner of Natural Remedies Alternative Medicine, a cannabis cooperative which opened in Gaylord last week, feels she is serving as a conduit between caregivers and patients who use marijuana for relief.

Identifying herself as "Karen," the owner said she was motivated by other caregivers and patients to open the co-op in her hometown as a local way for them to respectively distribute and acquire marijuana. Before they opened, she said, patients who don't grow their own had to go downstate to get their marijuana, but can now do so locally "in a safe, secure, anonymous environment."

Karen described the co-op as a private club for members only, and memberships can be obtained by legal marijuana patients and caregivers.

Members with excess marijuana beyond their immediate needs can rent locker space and store their overage on site, and they can set their own prices on what they have to offer.

Natural Remedies employees, all of whom are registered patients, have key access to the lockers and will make the exchange with the patient in a private room.

As of April 7, their second day being open, Natural Remedies had rented nine lockers and was offering a menu of different strains of marijuana with names like "Shark's Breath" and "Northern Lights." Karen said average patients include blue-collar workers and seniors and are coming from Gaylord as well as Afton, Cheboygan and Wolverine. No marijuana is grown or consumed on site.

Natural Remedies charges an administration fee on sales to help pay for the lease on the building, employees and utility costs. According to Michigan law, caregivers may be compensated for their services to assist patients with use of marijuana.

Karen said that she had toured other similar facilities in Lansing and Traverse City to see how their operations work. She also met with local city and county officials and law enforcement agencies to explain her business plan and gauge how they felt.

"I wanted to see if they had open arms to this club," she said, adding that she would not have opened had she not felt welcome.

Karen understands the law is still young and very little precedence has been established as to how marijuana facilities are enforced. The Village of Vanderbilt, which saw the first such facility in Otsego County open there in February, is still considering how to address zoning and regulations.

"We're taking that risk for something we, as well as the community, believe in," she said.

Natural Remedies, located in Parkside Mini Mall on South Otsego Avenue, invites members of the public and prospective patients to visit the facility, learn more about the operation and be better educated on the topic of medical marijuana. Their Web site is 420 MAGAZINE

Another facility, Compassionate Caregivers, also opened on South Otsego Avenue last week but was not available for comment for this story.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: petoskeynews.com
Author: Chris Engle
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Gaylord Herald Times
Website: New to Gaylord: Medical marijuana cooperative
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