As of March of this year, the state of Michigan had just two cannabis lounges. One in Kalkaska: Kalkushka Lounge, located at 302 South Cedar St, and one in Hazel Park, Hot Box Social, located at 23610 John R Rd. Just recently, however, the Great Lake state gained two additional cannabis lounges, Rolling Embers was third to launch in the state, at 19279 Kinst Road, New Buffalo. Rolling Embers is owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and is located on tribal land close to the Four Winds Casino. The fourth cannabis lounge in Michigan opened on April 20th this year and features perhaps the most intriguing concept yet, the ‘Cannabis Casino’ as it is so-called.
The REEF Detroit celebrated the grand reopening of its 6640 8-Mile Road location as a cannabis lounge/casino business concept. REEF first opened its doors for medical patients in 2014. The business decided to close its doors earlier this year to completely remodel its business and create a new space that features casino table games where cannabis users can use store tokens and credits to wager on table games to win in-store prizes.
According to REEF spokesperson, Tim Campbell, it’s one of the first of its kind. “As far as I know, nobody in the country has done it,” said Campbell during an interview with Metro Times Detroit.
Detroit passed a modified version of the city ordinance in 2022 that allows adult-use dispensaries in certain Detroit suburbs. According to Campbell, The REEF sought out Jason Souza of Dort Hwy Dispo in Flint and credited him with the idea that helped develop the games used at The REEF.
“We shut down the shop, figured it was as good a time as any to give the place a facelift,” said Campbell.
The business is being reviewed by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, but according to Campbell the cannabis/casino concept is not in violation of any laws since customers don’t wager any real money, just store credit or cannabis products.
“We structured how many reward points you get at a ratio of how much you purchase. For instance, there’s days that you come in and you spend $25, you get either a ball to go down the Plinko machine, or a pull on the roulette wheel, [or] a roll at the craps table. So you win prizes, and you can win pretty much no matter what,” said Campbell. “And if you spend $50, you get two of these chances; for $75, you get three; and so on and so forth. Or you can let your points accrue and sit there and get hot on a game of blackjack, or get hot on a game of craps. You can sit there for a half hour to use your points all at one time.”
“This is definitely not gambling,” Campbell added. “Because if you win, you get a pull on the wheel of fortune, or a throw on the craps table. You play with store credit and you win store credit.”
The REEF has also gained attention in the last year for featuring Mcdonald’s ‘Monopoly’ inspired games, pull tabs, and scratch-offs, giving away cannabis prizes, free vacations, thousands in cash, and even free cannabis for life.
It will be interesting to see how other companies in the state, like Rolling Embers, the cannabis lounge operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, will respond. We could likely see tribal communities take notes from the REEF and open similar businesses in their communities.
If casino gaming and smoking are up your alley, consider checking out the REEF at 6640 8-Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48234.
Mac Daniel is a writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com