By his own admission, Randall Buchman’s attempt to grow his first four cannabis plants after getting his medical marijuana card failed miserably.
He’s come a long way since that try in 2009.
Buchman quickly refined his cultivation methods, scaled to the maximum number of plants under the medical caregiver law, and in 2018 launched Pleasantrees, one of Michigan’s first recreational cannabis companies to build out the state’s best growing facility and top cannabis dispensary network.
“My only goal was to be the premier cultivator and seller of the best cannabis in Michigan,” Buchman said. “The core of the company is that we are people who are passionate about cannabis, and we’ve been involved from the start. We’re not business people trying to get into the industry.
“The focus has always been on creating a premium, quality product with authenticity. We believe that the cream rises to the top. We want to be transparent and help people learn and understand how our cannabis is different from others. It’s not always about the most potent product, it’s about being the best.”
Pleasantrees’ growth has been remarkable, starting with friends and family assisting Buchman and then expanding from 25 employees in January 2020 to nearly 225 today. The staff, which includes a team of growing experts with more than 100 years of experience cultivating cannabis, tends to more than 9,000 plants in a 50,000 square foot facility in Harrison Township. There are 10 flower rooms, two vegetation rooms, drying and curing rooms, as well as a nursery and tables custom-designed for trimming harvested plants.
All of the pesticide-free products – Pleasantrees has over 100 strains under cultivation and maintains a seed bank of over 600 different genetics – grow in soil custom mixed with organic matter and probiotic microbials. Organic oils are used to naturally fend off pest and mold threats.
“We’re always trying to make it better, to increase quality and efficiency because how you grow is the most important thing,” Buchman said. “There is no winging it. You’re running and gunning to develop the strongest, best flowering plants.”
Pleasantrees just completed its 100th harvest, and it is producing a new crop every week, according to Buchman. “It’s consistently great product that is handled with care,” he said.
Michigan cannabis users can obtain Pleasantrees flower, live hash rosin, pre-rolls and vape cartridges at its five dispensaries in East Lansing, Hamtramck, Houghton Lake, Lincoln Park and Mount Clemens. Pleasantrees also distributes to third-party vendor dispensaries throughout Michigan.
Pleasantrees’ dispensaries are preparing to embrace the traditional 4/20 cannabis holiday – a date recognized in marijuana lore for celebrating cannabis – with its unprecedented "10 Days of 420" promotion. Consumers will be able to access a buy one, get one for a penny on all of Pleasantrees flower and pre-roll products starting on April 13 and running through April 23.
“We’ve never done anything like this, and it’s a great opportunity for people to learn more about us and for us to help them discover what they like,” Buchman said. “We’re spreading it out beyond one day because we want to share the holiday with as many people as possible.”
Buchman’s early entry into the Michigan cannabis industry came through his medicinal use and his belief that Michigan would legalize marijuana as many states in the Western U.S. had already done.
“It was an indicator that to me said this is where the puck is going, let’s skate there and be ready once it happens,” said Buchman, who graduated from Michigan State University with a business degree. “We’re seeing people accept cannabis and having it become part of communities.
“Municipalities have seen we are a professional, well-run outfit that not only benefits the cannabis patients and consumers but also the community as a whole.”