Some 1,400 Michigan communities have opted out of allowing licensed marijuana companies to set up stores, despite adult-use legalization.
"The Michigan market is very competive on real estate and it's not easy to find locations," Skymint Chief Executive Officer Jeff Radway told Benzinga. "There's really a limited number of muncipalities that are allowed to have stores. Metro Detroit, [with] just under 4 million people, is highly competitive, and very few municipalities have opted in."
This created a problem for Skymint, which had been unable to set up shop in metro Detroit — until now.
Skymint's Hazel Park Dispensary Launches: As of Thursday, July 30, the brand is officially open for business just outside Detroit city limits.
"We're super relieved," Radway said. The store — the company's tenth in Michigan — was supposed to debut earlier this year.
"COVID, of course, threw a wrench into it," the CEO said.
The coronavirus pandemic delayed the overall approval process, since municipalities were not able to conduct business in person. But for Radway, there are "no complaints at this point."
Located just north of 8 Mile Road on John R Road, Skymint Hazel Park will be one of the closest recreationally licensed dispensaries to downtown Detroit.
To commemorate the grand opening, patrons will receive 40% off their full order. The sale will take place through Wednesday, Aug. 5.
What's Ahead For Skymint: More Skymint stores are on the way, Radway told Benzinga.
"By the end of the year, we'll have 12 to 13 [stores] open and another 12 in development for about 25," he said. That also makes for a lot of job openings.
Skymint stores, depending on the size, typically have between 10 and 20 employees. In total, the company has about 300 employees, including those in production, marketing and other front office positions.
Many of those employees were hired during the crisis caused by COVID-19 — and given a 20% bump in pay.
"We're projecting several hundred hires in the next year," Radway said.
The Bigger Picture: Skymint employees are also a part of "something bigger than just selling a lot of weed and making money," Radway said.
The company is committed to social equity programs and has provided financial support for decriminalization and legalization ballot initiatives led by Last Prisoner's Project, which aims to free those incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis charges.
By purchasing Two Joints premium cannabis flower and pre-rolls at Skymint's store, customers can help support the cause as well.