At this point in our quest to find the finest local cannabis available, we arrive at Winewood Organics. Cannabis connoisseurs would do well to explore this dispensary that was once a cat shelter.
Eric Parkhurst and Marcus Huber employ a tight-knit crew, and the operation hums – everything is harvested on-site using the best living soil (at the time of this report, Morgan Composting in Sears), and the product is a cut above what you get at the Big Box dispensaries. The exterior and showroom aesthetic was crafted by a small team of artists and interior designers, and the end result has the look and feel of a high-end weed den.
Ever upward, smoke clean and free, don’t just look for the best deals, look for the best product. Winewood tests their product locally so there are no inflated THC percentages, and the growers process everything in-house, from grow to bud bar. Given Winewood’s origin story, there’s a legacy of caregiving attached to this “micro-business.”
Parkhurst’s wife Becca suffers from a blood clot and when she found little relief from opiates, Parkhurst decided to move to Michigan from Twin Cities, Minnesota, and become her caregiver.
In 2018, when the first recreational dispensary licenses were being awarded in the Great Lakes state, he camped out for a weekend in wintry conditions in front of City Hall along with some other brave souls.
He was second in line. He brought on a friend he had known since high school, Marcus Huber (a German native with family ties to Ohio), to help with the physical build-out, and in the summer of 2022, Winewood Organics opened for recreational retail.
Some of my fondest smoking memories are from backpacking across Western Europe. I remember buying Lebanese hash in Amsterdam and some Brits showing me how to roll a Euro (hash and tobacco) or wandering around Barcelona with a chillum filled with Afghan chocolate. One of the most jarringly hilarious smoking experiences I ever had was doing knife hits of hash at my friend’s bungalow in Ontario. The body buzz and euphoria you get from hashish is unrivaled.
So upon my first visit to Winewood, I was captivated by the Hash Bar display. Rather than the hash I’d smoked in Europe or Canada, this was bubble hash, now commonly found in infused pre-rolls. Still, I had a session with some friends and despite struggling with the consumption method, we got incredibly high and giggled uncontrollably together. Good times in the dead of winter.
I’d never seen actual hash displayed prominently in any of the dispensaries I’ve been to in Michigan, Las Vegas, or Montreal (the three places in North America I’ve bought weed legally), so I was excited. The price point is a little stiff ($40 a gram for the entry-level stuff) but the high has serious legs so you get plenty of bang for your buck.
“We started doing hash because we had so many customers come in and ask for it,” said Parkhurst.
At Winewood, everything is cured and curated small-batch style which ensures the product’s integrity.
“Being the smallest company (dispensary), I knew we were gonna have to focus on quality in order to differentiate ourselves from all the stuff you see at the box stores…There are so many dispensaries in Ann Arbor (27 or 28 at the time of this report), but the caregivers are kind of going by the wayside because of super low prices and commercialized cannabis, I know there are more people that can do what I’m doing here,” Parkhurst said.
The takeaway: smoke smarter, not cheaper.
For the strain of the month, we’re going with some homegrown: local grow guru US GUNNER Unlimited’s Mandarin Zkittles tastes like the kind buds (KB’s) we used to get back in the day. Back then, it was brick weed or KB’s, that’s it.
For this month’s Green Screen Auditory Companion, we pay homage to Trugoy The Dove of De La Soul, the best cut off the “Judgment Night Soundtrack” with long-forgotten Teenage Fanclub. There are no words, just sadness, another artist gone before their time. Put some Winewood Organics in the air for Trugoy (and for the lives lost in East Lansing). Hurts so bad, let the herb take some of the pain away.
This article is dedicated to Patti Hamel, a dear friend to all who knew her. Without her, this column wouldn’t exist. Rest In Puppy Power, sis.