A growing number of adult-use cannabis businesses in Michigan, from outdoor cannabis farms to micro businesses, are providing tours to interested consumers that show them how cannabis plants are grown, harvested, and processed.

The openness is a notable shift for a still relatively new legal industry in Michigan in which many cannabis businesses are located in remote areas, and farms are hidden behind privacy fences.

The cannabis industry "has been carved out of the public view, and we felt that in order to end the stigma, that all needs to be brought to light so people can see that this is a serious business," Karen Kekelik, co-owner of the microbusiness IndiGrow in Muskegon. Kekelik is referring to the stigma that stems from the War on Drugs — a U.S. government-led initiative in the 1970s that aimed to stop illegal drug use — that led to many people believing cannabis is bad, dirty, and unprofessional, she said.

Kekelik and her husband, Steven, who also co-owns the business, started offering tours earlier this year, just a few months after opening. The idea to offer tours came organically, as education was a big part of the couple's goal for the business from the beginning because they wanted to show the cleanliness and professionalism required to be a successful cannabis business.

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