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Ypsilanti landmark: Quality Roots, takes a historic building and gives it new life

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Quality Roots, a cannabis dispensary chain, is making strides to revitalize Michigan communities where its stores are situated. Their latest endeavor involved purchasing a historic landmark in Ypsilanti that had featured on the Dangerous Buildings list for several decades.

The condition of the building they acquired was dire, with six feet of standing water in the basement and almost all the windows broken. Nonetheless, undeterred by the challenges, Quality Roots embarked on a $2 million renovation project, successfully transforming the 101-year-old structure into a splendid and functional business, while preserving much of its historic charm.

With July drawing near, Quality Roots is gearing up to open the doors of their newest cannabis dispensary at the former Farm Bureau property/Frog Island Brewery, located at 2 West Forest Avenue, Ypsilanti. Aric Klar, the CEO of Quality Roots, expressed pride in retaining the building's historic elements, such as the signature tower, silos, and exposed brick walls, embracing the rustic beauty it possesses. Additionally, they plan to commission a local artist to paint a mural on the tower, paying homage to the city's history.

To ensure compliance with Ypsilanti's ordinance on recreational marijuana businesses, Quality Roots, like other marijuana retailers, must obtain permits through Michigan's social equity program. The program aims to encourage participation in the cannabis industry by individuals living in the 184 Michigan communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests and incarcerations.

To make the Ypsilanti project possible, Aric Klar joined forces with Farbman Group, a full-service commercial real estate firm, and Jeff Guyton, a social equity entrepreneur. Guyton, a lifelong resident of Ypsilanti, saw this opportunity as a chance to address the negative impact of cannabis prohibition on his community. He emphasized the importance of renovating dilapidated buildings, contributing to the city's economy, and supporting local black entrepreneurs.

Ypsilanti Mayor Nicole Brown lauded the revitalization of the landmark and praised Jeff Guyton for pushing for racial equity in the cannabis industry. The mayor anticipated that Quality Roots would provide a boost to the city's business economy and educate its residents about the benefits of cannabis and cannabis reform.

Jonathan Klar, COO of Quality Roots and an Eastern Michigan University graduate, expressed excitement about fulfilling his dream of opening a business in Ypsilanti. He described the location of the new dispensary, situated between the university campus and downtown Ypsilanti, as ideal for catering to a diverse customer base.

The Ypsilanti location will mark Quality Roots' seventh cannabis dispensary in Michigan. Each store offers a wide range of cannabis products from 50 to 100 brands, including flower, pre-rolls, vape cartridges, edibles, concentrates, and CBD items. The company takes pride in providing customers with a relaxed retail experience, free from rushed shopping and long wait times.

Jonathan Klar assured that the new store would maintain the company's commitment to offering competitive prices and hiring local talent. The team is eager to serve the Ypsilanti community and its neighboring areas, aiming to become the go-to cannabis shop in the city.

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Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.

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