MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Owners of a dispensary in West Michigan hope that giving back to the community will help change the narrative about cannabis. 

Timber Cannabis Co, which has been open for about a year, is getting ready to open its fourth store in mid-January. The Muskegon location was the first to open in Michigan, and since then, the company has added stores in Allegan, Big Rapids, and soon, Sturgis.  

“It’s a big priority to give back into the community that our stores are placed in,” said Brelynn Woodrick, general manager of the Muskegon store. “I feel like if you have the opportunity to give, and some companies don’t have the opportunity to give money, but you can give the opportunity of your time.”

Woodrick said staff at Timber are fortunate enough to do both, volunteering with local organizations and providing thousands of dollars in grants for local nonprofits. It’s all a part of their program known as ‘Culture of Good.’

“The first quarter is for social equity programs in Michigan. During the second quarter, we donate towards LGBTQ or mental health organizations. The third quarter is targeted towards veteran groups. Then the fourth quarter, which we just had, is for food security,” Woodrick said.

In addition to the quarterly grants, the cannabis company donated money to help plant trees for Arbor Day, feed the community during the holidays and support GoFundMe campaigns that work to get people released from prison on nonviolent drug charges. Starting this year, Timber also plans to donate a portion of profits towards addiction and recovery programs.

“Unfortunately, cannabis doesn’t have a clean past with especially affecting communities of color, and you know being incarcerated for marijuana charges,” Woodrick explained. 

Leaders with Timber believe there’s an opportunity to change the narrative of cannabis, hoping that by supporting medical research, social equity programs, and creating new partnerships, they can shape a more positive future.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this awesome cannabis community where we’re not the only ones that give back. We partner with cultivators and other dispensaries, hopefully, in the future, where we will be able to make an even bigger impact. It’s just such a new industry that I think that we’re really going to be able to give back a lot more in the future.”