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Adult-use marijuana retailer opens in Houghton

HOUGHTON — The Copper Country’s first recreational marijuana retailer opened for business this week.

Northern Specialty Health in Houghton began recreational sales this week after receiving state approval earlier this month. It had previously only sold medical marijuana.

“It feels amazing to say ‘yes’ when people ask if we offer adult-use cannabis sales, aka recreational,” co-owner Penny Milkey said in an email interview. “We’ve been turning people away for months so everyone is really happy to serve customers 21+.”

The adult-use and medical sides of NSH keep different inventories, and many items are specific to the license type, Milkey said.

For now, recreational inventory is mostly limited to flower, prerolls, concentrates and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), an extract cannabis oil. The business plans to add edibles next week, and vape cartridges in the near future, Milkey said.

Due to COVID-19, the lobby is closed, but NSH offers curbside pickup. Customers can order online; the menu indicates whether a product is adult-use or medical.

Milkey said NSH is trying to keep its phone line open for medical patients needing assistance.

The Houghton City Council voted to allow recreational marijuana sales within the city in May, and approved a special-use permit for NSH the next month. There is no limit on the number of retailers that can operate in the city, though they are restricted geographically to a corridor along Razorback Drive.

At least two other retailers are looking to follow in Northern Specialty Health’s footsteps, both of whom operate other shops in the Upper Peninsula. The council approved a special use permit for Lume Cannabis Co. in August. On Tuesday, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a special use permit request by the Fire Station.

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