By Mike Kruzman /

The owner of an Oakland County dispensary is hoping to help shake the stigma and bring his business to Brighton.

The Greenhouse Dispensary in Walled Lake serves between 1,000 and 1,600 customers daily. Owner Jerry Millen says that up to a quarter of those customers are coming from Livingston County, which he believes demonstrates that there is demand for the product within the county. Their average customer is 44 years old.

Millen recently purchased the old Rolison Hardware building in downtown Brighton, and while he hasn’t submitted any formal plans, he has expressed an interest in turning it into a dispensary.

At a recent special meeting of Brighton City Council, nearly all of the roughly 30 residents who spoke on the topic were against the idea of a dispensary, especially on Main Street. Many felt that a dispensary would not keep with the “family-friendly” nature of the city.

Millen invites anyone with questions or concerns to give him a call or even take a tour of his Walled Lake facility; believing they will be surprised with what it’s really like versus their perception. He says that cannabis is not the “devil’s lettuce” or the “boogeyman,” and it might help someone you love, as many of his customers use its many forms to treat a variety of ailments.

As for the product, Millen stands by it and says they are doing it the right way. He told WHMI that people don’t understand the scrutiny they are under and that Michigan has the strictest testing of any state in the country. Millen said he agrees with the heavy regulations because that helps keep “the bad guys” out of the industry but also lets people know they have a quality product. He said, “Marijuana’s been demonized for so long. We have to put a good face on it, cause if we don’t we’re not gonna win this battle.”

He was encouraged by Brighton City Council’s recent decision to ask the Planning Commission to explore the feasibility of dispensaries in Brighton. That topic is on their agenda for discussion this Monday, October 18th.

Brighton is currently opted out of allowing facilities, but City Council has shown interest in getting ahead of any outside party potentially forcing a ballot initiative and keeping control, themselves. However, discussions over several City Council meetings also acknowledged difficulties in finding spaces for these facilities in a small, 2.9 square mile city that is nearly built out.

To hear more from Millen and his interest in bringing The Greenhouse to Brighton, tune in to WHMI’s Viewpoint, this Sunday at 8:30am.