Tell us the basic information about your business.
Founded in 2020 by a group of Michiganders, Cloud Cannabis Co. is on a mission to make Michigan happier and healthier by demystifying the cannabis shopping experience through education, assortment and community. We’re a cannabis dispensary, but when we say, “Live Higher,” there’s more to it than one may initially think. We help people elevate their lives, enjoyment, health and productivity so they can be the best version of themselves. Cloud Cannabis supports communities through hiring locally and giving back by partnering with and providing donations to local nonprofits. Cloud has locations in Muskegon (rec and medical), Ann Arbor (rec and medical) and Traverse City (medical), with Utica and Detroit opening in the near future. We plan to open another 10-12 locations in the next 18 months.
Several years ago, Cloud Cannabis co-founder John McLeod sustained a knee injury and had to have several surgeries. After the surgeries, he was prescribed pain medication, and those meds upended his life. He was not being the best husband, father or person he could be due to the effects of the meds. After a friend who is a doctor recommended John try cannabis as a replacement for opioids, it was like “flipping a switch.” John credits cannabis for getting him out of that rut and helping him live the best version of his life. It changed his life and saved his marriage. He’s now a steward of the industry because he is living proof of the benefits of cannabis. John initially found the world of cannabis overwhelming, but he learned to navigate different dosages, formats and effects. He saw the need to help others do the same so they too could benefit from using cannabis. This very personal experience is what led John to become an entrepreneur in Michigan’s cannabis industry.
What makes your business unique or sets it apart?
Cloud Cannabis is the store where everyone feels welcome – from cannabis enthusiasts to the occasional consumer. Our team will educate customers and provide recommendations on products and dosage that align with their lifestyle – whether that’s enjoying time out with friends, helping with a medical ailment, improving energy and focus or enhancing their fitness program. Our business is focused on “people over profits” and “education first,” and we approach product recommendations with a teacher’s heart. Additionally, we have access to the best and most high-quality products – all at affordable prices. We source the best products in the state from our founders’ connections with small farmers and other suppliers. As a result, Cloud Cannabis has one of the widest selections of quality flower at affordable pricing.
The experience at our stores is very different from other dispensaries in Michigan. Customers will find a beautifully designed environment with products and displays color coded in five categories – Energize, Calm, Focus, Relief and Sleep – to help guide them in choosing the right products. Something new we recently launched that you won’t find at any other Michigan dispensary is Cloud Budtender AI, which is powered by an exclusive partnership in Michigan with StrainBrain. Budtender AI is an online recommendation engine platform that helps consumers choose the right product strain based on their preferred taste, effects and potency. The StrainBrain recommendation engine uses millions of data points derived from hundreds of thousands of user reviews on various cannabis strains. The data is then used to create an AI-powered and personalized experience with a virtual budtender. Finally, giving back to the community is a core part of our business, and we created the Cloud Cares program to ensure we’re giving back year-round. For all our store openings, we partner with a local nonprofit to provide a portion of grand opening sales. We also provide nonprofit donations outside of store openings, and we give employees 8 hours per month of volunteer time.
Tell us about your favorite cannabis product and/or best seller.
Answers from John McLeod: “The Salted Toffee Blondies by Kaneh Co. are my new favorite product. The taste is superior – it tastes like a high-end gourmet dessert and doesn’t at all taste like a cannabis product. The blondies are individually dosed at 10 mg apiece, making it easy to get the right dosage. Products that sell well at Cloud stores include Mitten Extracts Sherbert THCA, Hyman products and Viola flower products.”
What are your favorite elevated activities?
Answers from John McLeod: “I highly recommend using the Pilgrim Soul Creative Journal – which it says right on the cover to use only when you’re high. It was a very interesting experience. One activity I exclusively do while in an elevated state is yoga. I’ve been doing it for 9 years, and it’s an activity that I will only do in conjunction with using marijuana.”