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First pot shop to open doors in Clarkston turns reins over to younger generation

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For Kelly Jackson and his wife Julie, opening Canna 4 Life wasn't something they'd ever dreamed of. "I had been on asthma drugs for 40 years, and my asthma was continually getting worse," Kelly explained. Tired of all the prescriptions and medication, he told his doctor he was done with it. “I'm going to see if I die without them or die with them. And from then on, he recommended medical marijuana tincture form, which reduces inflation and that's what asthma is."

Kelly said, this decision changed his life. "I'm currently over a year without an asthma attack, and I wished everyone with asthma could experience what it's like to go a year without the symptoms of the disease."

It is his want for others to experience the benefits he has, that pushed him. "It was only a few months after I started taking medical marijuana myself that marijuana became legal. And that was the day that my wife and I decided, we're going to sell it."

They began the process of opening Canna 4 Life, two years before their first day of business. "We had some obstacles in the road we had to go through first, and it was a real bumpy road,” Kelly said, “But with a new city council in town who wanted the benefits, who wanted to follow the voter and wanted the tax revenue, we were allowed to open."

They became the first marijuana shop to open their doors in Clarkston, and that brought in a loyal batch of customers. "Canna 4 Life is number one in 100-mile radius of Clarkston,” said Kelly. They were voted best cannabis shop in our region for Inland 360. "It's kind of ecstatic for our people. Our team is great; we think we have the greatest team assembled in this industry. And it's because all of our people care."

Kelly credits his team of budtenders for their success. "Trust is something that is never given. Trust is something you earn. Our team wants to be trusted, and they know they have to earn that trust. They enjoy it. It's beyond a job, it's fun for our people," he said.

But after only just over a year and a half, Kelly and his wife will be leaving Canna 4 Life. "Julie and I knew going into this that there would be a day that we would turn it over to the younger generation that could run at this speed. And we're happy to announce that we are doing that."

Kelly is now putting the trust they've built into new hands. The business is being bought in partnership. and the new owners may be some familiar faces. "One is Scott Atkinson... And one is our daughter Bethany, who has been with us since day one," said Kelly.

Scott Atkinson approached Bethany Frost with the proposition of a partnership. And the opportunity to keep the business in the family was one she couldn't refuse. "I like to get out there, talk with the customers, have them realizing that it's not just going to somebody or anybody, it is staying in the family. And I think that is very important to the customers because Kelly and Julie made such a huge staple in the beginning," said Bethany.

And as for Kelly... Who better to take over his pride and joy... Than his very own pride and joy. "What daddy doesn't want to turn over their business to a son or daughter. I think everybody can feel that," he said.

Canna 4 Life is also planning on opening a merchandise store as part of this new ownership. Scott and Bethany will officially be taking over the business in a few weeks.

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