By Arlene Bachanov, published in the The Daily Telegram
Nicole Williams was sold on the benefits of medical marijuana when she saw that a family member was helped by it. And when she realized that medical marijuana patients in Lenawee County needed to drive well outside the area to obtain the drug, she decided to give them a local alternative: Medicinal Solutions Wellness Center.
The center, a private, members-only establishment at 227 N. Winter St., Suite 305 in Adrian, MI provides its clients with medical marijuana and plans to offer other services in the future, including classes for patients on how to grow their own plants, massage therapy and yoga instruction. Members, who must be registered medical marijuana patients, pay a $20 membership fee plus the cost of the drug. A medical history is required.
Opening the center was a risk, Williams admitted. “I kind of put myself out there,” she said. “I felt that what I was doing was right.”
She created a business plan, talked with city officials and opened the center’s doors on Oct. 13. So far, she said, business has been strong, with around 100 members joining to date, and the response from the people she’s discussed the business with has been positive as well: “I’ve been getting very, very good feedback.”
In Williams’ mind, medical marijuana is an alternative to prescription pharmaceuticals that she believes “mask more than heal. … We’re replacing one pharmaceutical drug with a natural alternative.”
She is quick to dispel what she sees as a stereotype of medical marijuana users: that they’re “lazy stoners.” Rather, she said, her clients are mostly disabled, many of them with conditions like arthritis or glaucoma, and benefit from being able to legally obtain the drug closer to home rather than having to travel or requiring their caregivers to travel.
Members may not consume the marijuana they purchase on or around the premises, and Williams said the clients are told to use the product at home and to observe the same precautions as they would need to with a prescription drug carrying the typical warning about “not driving or operating heavy machinery.”
The center also provides weekly meetings to bring the members together for support, to share information and to be educated on exactly what Michigan’s medical marijuana act allows and what their rights are. In time, Williams and the center’s co-owner — her husband, Emilio Hernandez — plan to add grow classes as well as massage therapy and yoga classes. Williams is working on getting some massage therapy students and a yoga instructor.
Williams said she believes she is providing a service to people who need it and “doing it in a helping, compassionate way.”
“I believe we’re doing good,” she said.
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is 918-9872.