Matthew Dotson

Monroe, MI: April 20th, between 3:00 PM and 4:20 PM

A photo essay by Matthew Dotson
Published May 18, 2024

MONROE, MICHIGAN — On April 20th, between 3:00 PM and 4:20 PM, I captured a photo series at 18 local dispensaries in Monroe Township, buzzing with activity during the 4/20 celebrations. The scene at each location was nothing short of pandemonium with lines stretching out the doors—mostly patrons from Ohio, eagerly participating in the highly affordable festivities. The backdrop for this frenetic gathering is Monroe Township, Michigan, a place that had only embraced the marijuana business a few years prior. By August 2020, the township had passed its inaugural marijuana ordinance, and by December 2021, “The Glass Jar”—later renamed “NAR Cannabis”—opened its doors. This move paved the way for 17 more dispensaries to set up shop, 11 of which are on LaPlaisance Road, a stretch formerly known for its decades-long abandoned strip malls. Within a few years, this area transformed into what’s now colloquially known as the “Marijuana Hub of the Midwest.” On this particular Saturday afternoon, the strip was packed with thousands of cars, mostly bearing Ohio license plates, with a few Michigan and Indiana plates sprinkled in. And even though Ohio has since legalized recreational marijuana in late 2023, the influx of visitors suggests that the allure of Monroe’s dispensaries remains strong.

However, with the township’s recent moratorium on new dispensaries and Ohio working quickly to open its own dispensaries, one wonders: how long will this boom last, and what will fill its place once these stores inevitably close down?

Here are the 18 dispensaries I captured in my photo series in Monroe Township:

  1. NAR Cannabis (formerly The Glass Jar)
  2. Lume
  3. Quality Roots
  4. JARS Cannabis
  5. PUFF Cannabis
  6. Joyology
  7. Exclusive Monroe
  8. Mint Cannabis
  9. Weedys
  10. URB Cannabis
  11. House of Dank
  12. Crave Cannabis
  13. Nirvana Center
  14. King of Budz
  15. Backpack Boyz
  16. Uniq Cannabis
  17. Blaze Outlet
  18. Pure Cannabis Outlet
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