BAY CITY, MI — The pungent marijuana that once lined the walls and filled display cases inside Bay City’s Diamond Cannabis store disappeared with customers months ago.
Employees and managers also moved on, but heavy unpaid debt lingers, according to several lawsuits reviewed by MLive.
Marijuana industry insiders and attorneys tell MLive this cut-and-run scenario is a growing problem in the 4-year-old, $3 billion-a-year Michigan market.
Diamond Cannabis, owned by Southfield-based Emerald Bay Provisioning, opened at 816 Washington Avenue in downtown Bay City next to a barbecue restaurant in late 2021.
A 2021 Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) licensing report listed the investment partners as Michael Yaldo, Omar Salah and Ramia Kirma, although a 2023 lawsuit filed against the company no longer lists Kirma as an owner.
The early response was overwhelmingly positive. Customers were happy, according to Google business reviews. But the success didn’t last.
By mid-November of this year, a ladder, some boards piled in the now-vacant marijuana showroom and stickers for a brand of rolling papers on windows were all that remained of Diamond Cannabis Company.
The owner of a neighboring cell phone and computer repair shop said he told the landlord about the marijuana shop’s departure in late summer.
Diamond Cannabis joined eleven other licensed marijuana retailers in Bay City that have closed their doors, according to CRA licensing reports.
Business troubles began mounting…