Provisioning center to open in iconic Lunker’s building

Published 3:42 pm Thursday, December 17, 2020

EDWARDSBURG — The former Lunker’s building has some new tenants.

Atop the large sign at 26423 US-12 in Edwardsburg, bearing bold letters still spelling out the building’s former business, a giant, green bass still leaps out of the air and helps herald a new business into the complex: Dr. A’s Re-Leaf Center.

The iconic fish will now mark a new chapter in the “ichronic” location.

Stewart Ireland, owner of the new adult-use and medical marijuana provisioning center in Edwardsburg, was not previously aware of the building’s background. He discovered its history when he came to take a look at the building for his business.

“We got down here, and as an angler, I had never seen this building in my life,” Ireland said. “My uncle told me about it. I saw the fish and thought, ‘that’s really cool.’”

The fish will stay, Ireland said.

Dr. A’s Re-Leaf Center will inhabit what was once the bait shop in Lunker’s.

He is also planning to eventually give back to the 8,500 square feet Dr. A’s Re-Leaf Center will inhabit by eventually installing a fish tank, and hanging up framed photos of fishermen with their trophies in front of the building from the 1970s.

“I’m not bringing the alligator back, but my plan is that it would be nice if I could bring back birds that speak,” Ireland said.

For now, the plan is to make sure the space is open and ready for customers and patients to be able to obtain the product they desire.

Ireland is excited to bring his product from Alvarez Cultivation. The cultivation operation is located in Jackson, Michigan, and is 25,000 square feet. He is excited to bring the company’s cannibis to the Edwardsburg community.

“We will have a lot of our products,” Ireland said. “I’m very customer oriented. I will make sure we have a great customer service.”
With the timeline speeding toward opening, as long as all final inspections are passed, Ireland said the plan was to have provisioning center’s grand opening on Monday, Dec. 21.

With cars being back in the parking lot as Ireland’s staff puts the shop together, he said people have stopped by to check out what is happening at the popular property, which is located on a well-traveled highway. He is confident the location will be beneficial to the dispensary.

“All the dispensary locations along the border with Michigan you see a ton of out of state business,” Ireland said.

Being just one of two marijuana dispensaries approved for Edwardsburg, Ireland said the process has taken about six months from finding the location, getting the approval from Edwardsburg officials and readying the facility to open on Monday.

Ireland himself is not a marijuana user. He said his motivations for getting into cultivation and provisioning were the medical benefits he learned about and had seen.

“I tried it a year ago,” Ireland said. “I haven’t touched it since. It was the first time in my entire life. I was against it for years, but got into the medical because that is the way of the future for a lot of things. To be in business, you sort of have to go with the times and offer adult-use.”

Ireland said at least two of his business partners are medical physicians.

Staff training is expected to take place from Thursday through Saturday, with a soft opening of Dr. A’s Re-Leaf Center on Saturday just for staff members’ friends and family so they can practice assisting customers.