Full-Steam Ahead for 7Engines
by Stephanie Fain
Who loves local history, symbolism, nostalgia and… well, cannabis? ME! Yep! I LOVE a good story, too, and I adore when a company like 7Engines comes around to remind us of our rich history, and to help shape and improve our future. The name is as sentimental as the people you will find in the building. They have a little history to lay on you about the land along with how they came about the name. Buchanan’s rich history is intertwined with our sister cities, as we were always connected 7 miles apart. That was how far a steam engine could go without having to refuel. Also, they talk about McCoy Creek’s rich history in their bio and what role it played in shaping the land, Buchanan, and of course, their name. These are the things that shape us. You can read more in depth about 7Engines name’s rich origins at their website. https://my7engines.com/uncategorized/about-7engines/
With four already established dispensaries in the area and one more on its way (Redbud Roots), many are wondering, “What’s the big deal? Why did it take so long and who are 7Engines?” They started this project initially in 2017. It has taken them a while to open up, but like any new business, they had to work out some kinks, grow a little and in a way, molt. 7Engines is definitely its own unique kind of flower and they finally bloomed on April 12, 2021 after long-awaited anticipation from the public. The building is new, the product is new, new stock is arriving daily, and the staff… is new!
7Engine’s management is not the same team it was when it started, “We had and have such a hardworking team, we are so fortunate to have the backing and the roots we do.” Said Joy VanDerAa, 7Engine’s sunny secretary. She explained it was unfortunate that not everyone who started this was here for this opening. “They would have been proud, this is a lot of good people’s baby.” This project was given a lot of love and a firm foundation. There were some people hurt, unfortunately, in the process of growing.
It is now, a whole new animal, they want to assure the public. The team is now headed by Vinay Patel of Granger, IN, President and COO, confident, knowledgeable, and very focused on helping the community. He lit up when he talked about 7Engine’s future plans in Buchanan (not a joint, his eyes, guys! C’mon stay focused!) “Medical demand is there but rec is at 10x more demand, creating some shortages for medical plants, so not all of our strands did show up in time for our opening, but you’ll be impressed when you see this room filled with over 50 top tested cannabis strains soon.” Patel smiled confidently, but I was already happy with the 30+ strains I smelled. It then struck me why they have so much space, it’s because there is more to come. Much more!
They are growers in every sense of the word, 7Engines is currently only set up and licensed for medical cannabis patients, but are in the process of attaining their Recreational License for adult use that has already been approved and it’s just a waiting game now. Currently under construction on River Street, they are building their massive indoor grow facility, making Buchanan the proud mammy of not one, but 2 VERY talented grow facilities. They promise to give back to the community. How lucky are we? Wow, Buchanan! We have come a long way, baby!
So, how did the opening go? I feel like I’m going to walk out onto the beach, and the Don Chepes taco truck blocking the bright yellow downtown signs doesn’t hurt. The building is fresh and new, people are poking around and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere, it smells great, there are beautiful multicolored wood backdrops and friendly staff. They had free 7Engines t-shirts, balloon swords and Joy, who got into this business by having a need… actually three.
“Out of my four children, three were born with epilepsy of different severities. Because of cannabis, I was able to give my daughters the tools for a life and future filled with endless possibilities that they deserved. I love watching my children succeed.” Boy, did they! With pride, Joy told me of her daughter’s graduating college and pursuing their passions! One of her daughters even decided to go into art therapy so that she can help others heal, another is a Master’s graduate in set design. No more grand mal seizures. Just opportunity and hope and… Joy! We laughed, we cried! “It’s just medicine! But GOOD medicine!” I agree so much.
That is not the only gem found in this little corner of Buchanan. I met so many sweet people while there. Lydia Applewhite, the GM, was busy organizing the team and getting things loaded into the system for opening day. She is pulling in brands like Luxury Loud out of Detroit, Cured, Grass Lakes Nursery and Fello Cannabis out of Galien. The new budtenders are not so new to the game, hopeful and helpful with personal knowledge of the products to give patients a perspective on what to expect from certain strains. Oh and Joseph Sikora (actor known from Ozarks and Power, series on HBO), along with his parents and basketball players, Mitch McGary and E’Twaun Moore, are among some of the financial backers of the 7Engine facilities. Talk about an all-star team!
So, there are already four dispensaries in Buchanan. What sets 7Engines apart dispensary-wise? Well, they are very much working on getting that much talked about drive-thru pick-up approved. Joy explained, “There is one other drive-thru dispensary in Michigan that I know of. We want to offer our clients the safest, easiest pick up possible during these troubling times. Some of our patients have trouble standing, some have terrible anxiety that keeps them from enjoying an atmosphere with crowds, and, of course, autoimmune diseases are very common and we would like to help protect our most fragile patients from any threats of COVID or any bug that might compromise their health. Sure, we want foot traffic, we want people to come in and see all the different products we have to offer, but for those who simply cannot, we want to keep them safe and comfortable. It would just be like a protected curbside pick-up. All of 7Engines products are listed on Weedmaps. (https://weedmaps.com/dispensaries/7engines-dispensary). That is our first point of contact for pick up and it would be the first step in our drive-thru process pending approval. A patient would order their products and when they pull into our drive they would check-in online so that the staff knows the patient has arrived and is in queue, the patient would then drive forward into the safely ventilated open garage doors and they would be greeted by our experts behind a large glass window, receive their product, get answers to any questions and exit.” The unique building shape and parking lot was designed to accommodate just this need. They did a very good job.
7Engines will be showcasing the site again on 4/20, be sure to check out their planned specials in our story showcasing Buchanan’s plans for our very first 420 celebration, downtown. Stop by and check it out for yourself, I will be at all the dispensaries throughout the day. Remember to bring your medical card or simply show up for some patient teaching, the staff is friendly and helpful. They even offered to help me sign up for a medical card. I guess that when you live in Buchanan, no one is really a stranger. As a community, we take care of each other and that is just what people like Joy, Vinay, Lydia, the staff and future staff of the facility to-be, are here to be a part of.
What’s next? We will have the pleasure to witness that for ourselves as their roots are now firmly planted with ours now. Welcome to Buchanan, 7Engines! Never stop growing, Buchanan!
*This content contains some information for those at least 21 years old. Medical cannabis use is for certified patients only. The Buchanan Chronicle does not intend to promote cannabis use except as advised by your health professional.*