Niles dispensary donates to two area nonprofits

NILES – A cannabis provisioning center gave $10,000 checks to two Niles nonprofits on Wednesday.

Leadership members from Green Stem Provisioning, 1140 S. 11th St., Niles, stopped into Ferry Street Resource Center, 620 Ferry St., just before 10:30 a.m.

Green Stem owners George Lynch and Katie Lynch Lindgren, and Liz Ridgeway, compliance manager, met with FSRC’s Executive Director Ric Pawloski to learn a bit about what the center has been doing. They also wanted to hand deliver a donation to Pawloski for the center.

“We think it’s very important to give to the community, especially in Niles, and you’re our first donation this year,” Lynch said.

Lindgren told Pawloski that she hoped Green Stem could keep supporting and working with FSRC in the future.

“The work we are doing is increasing. We need the funds to be able to help,” Pawloski said.
While state and federal aid contributes significantly to FSRC, Pawloski said the undesignated donation will help greatly.
“It’s important and gives us flexibility to what we can and need to do,” he said.

Pawloski spoke with the team from Green Stem about his concerns about the barriers to employment cannabis can have. Part of what Pawloski does at FSRC is help connect residents without employment to potential employers, help those experiencing homelessness or precariously housed find stable housing, as well as refer people struggling with addictions to treatment centers.

“I think over the next two years, you’ll find Michigan will stop testing for cannabis,” Lynch said. “They’ll test for opiates and other drugs.”

Lynch said Green Stem has been in the Niles community for about 14 months, and they hope to be a part of it for years to come.
“We are continuing to give, and hopefully getting rid of the stigma [associated with cannabis,” Lynch said. “Hopefully, we can help people and keep this in a positive light for everybody.”

Later Wednesday, the Green Stem team presented another $10,000 check to Spero House, 24 N. Fourth St., Niles.

“This isn’t just a one and done. We gave to these folks last year. We’ll give to them this year, and we’ll keep giving to them,” Lynch said. “You have to give back, especially since we are in this new industry.”

The company makes monthly donations to local, regional and national organizations. Lynch said his employees have memberships at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA as a way to donate to the organization.

Another initiative Green Stem is working on, according to Ridgeway, is promoting Niles restaurants to its customers. The program will direct customers to downtown restaurants

“We want to promote [to customers] to enjoy Niles and experience Niles,” Ridgeway said.

Lindgren said the company has worked to do service projects in the parks and helped clean up trails.

“We want to be involved in the community,” Lindgren said.

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