Casey Kornoelje, ’08, owns Pharmhouse Wellness, the only locally
owned cannabis shop in Grand Rapids.
A Pharmhouse initiative, the West Wealthy Beautification Project, is
commissioning artwork for the neighborhood.
Casey Kornoelje, ’08, sees his small business as an integral part of
Grand Rapids’ West Wealthy neighborhood and business corridor, where
industrial, commercial and residential zones are intertwined.
Before opening in the area, Koronelje visited with his future
residential neighbors to get their thoughts on his business becoming a
part of the neighborhood.
With their approval, Kornoelje opened Pharmhouse Wellness in 2020,
the only locally owned cannabis shop in Grand Rapids.
“I think we’ve had a positive impact on the neighborhood,” said
Kornoelje. “We’ve engaged in conversations with neighbors, business
and business associations.
“From day one, we were saying we are a small business like you guys.
I really try to treat others like I want to be treated. We’ve created
some really good relationships with the West Wealthy business corridor.”
Pharmhouse has several initiatives to invigorate the neighborhood.
Its Westpharm Reinvestment Fund funnels the savings from its licensing
and assessment fees to help minority-owned businesses and
nonprofits. Another Pharmhouse initiative, the West Wealthy
Beautification Project, is commissioning artwork for the neighborhood.
influence has garnered attention from state agencies, too.
Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency awarded the business its gold
its equity work, becoming the first company in the state to
receive the top honor.
“We want to show the neighborhood and the state that cannabis
industries aren’t so bad,” Kornoelje said. “To me, it’s important to
be involved in social equity. That’s where my heart is.”