Skymint expands the Ann Arbor-based cannabis brand with a new store in Portage
PORTAGE, MI – Customers visiting the newest cannabis dispensary in Portage are first greeted with a sign that reads, “Up, we’re open.”
Once inside, the guests are confronted with a mural with 420 themed images. Guests can browse branded clothing, ceramic pipes by a Michigan artist, and books such as “420 Things to Draw Aloft”.
SkyMint, a new marijuana business in Portage, is designed to be welcoming and accessible to cannabis novices and veterans alike, said Julie Lowry, corporate merchandise at SkyMint.
The pharmacy at 8542 Shaver Road in Portage is set up like any other retail store and allows diners to browse products instead of tucking them behind the checkout, she said.
“I just love how welcoming and open the room feels,” said Lowry. “It feels more like traditional retail.”
Summer Ransom-Cleveland, President of Retail at SkyMint, agreed, saying that many other pharmacies intimidate those who don’t know much about the products because customers are unable to browse the checkout counter.
“I always felt like there was a bit of pressure to hurry up and make your decision,” said Ransom-Cleveland. “My team and I have decided to bring as much of this product as possible behind the cash registers onto the sales floor.
“It almost takes on this sense of discovery – this environment of curiosity, learning, and rapprochement,” she said.
Those who are unsure or want to learn more about cannabis are welcome to SkyMint. There, staff will answer questions and help guests find the right product for them, Lowry said. The store aims to intimidate cannabis shopping, she said.
Once inside, showcases with a natural wood look separate the pre-rolls from food and flowers. The store also offers concentrates, vaporizers, and CBD for dogs and their owners. In fact, diners can take their dogs into the store when shopping, Lowry said.
The store also offers accessories such as birthday cards with marijuana motifs and Snoop Dogg’s cookbook “From crook to cook: Platinum recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s kitchen”.
Before checking out, guests walk along a shelf of checkout items like air fresheners and mints – except these mints are specifically made to deal with dry mouths.
Ransom-Cleveland said the goal of offering accessories and novelties is to provide customers with a more complete “lifestyle experience”.
SkyMint in Portage had a soft opening on Thursday April 8th that served about 160 customers, Ransom-Cleveland said. The store’s grand opening event is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14, she said. City guides and a food truck will attend the ribbon cutting event.
“If that were a soft opening, it would essentially be a little noisy opening,” said Ransom-Cleveland.
Portage is Skymint’s 12th store in Michigan, Ransom-Cleveland said. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, the company plans to have over 10 additional stores in the state over the next year and intends to expand outside of state lines, she said.
“We definitely want to open stores in as many communities in Michigan as possible,” said Ransom-Cleveland.
Future plans also include a store in neighboring Kalamazoo in 2021, she said.
SkyMint now operates 10 adult stores and two medical marijuana dispensaries. While drugs are not available in adult stores, people with a health card can get 15% off their purchase, she said.
About 80% of the products sold at SkyMint are house-branded, while the other 20% are from other Michigan brands, she said. SkyMint’s products are made “in the state’s most advanced cultivation and manufacturing facility,” said Ransom-Cleveland.
“We control pretty much 100% of the seeds we sell,” she said. “We raise the babies, we care for and love the plants and these turn out to be the end products. We know where they come from. “
Skymint in Portage is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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