7Engines’ new president aims to open location in March

BUCHANAN – The blue and white building sitting just beyond the “Welcome to Buchanan” sign on E. Front Street has seemed on the edge of opening since last summer.

In six to eight weeks, 7Engines President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Spengler said the dispensary should be in full bloom and ready to open its doors.

Spengler said the delay in opening was due to some shifts in management as well as investments dropping out, he believes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wanted to make sure we were properly funded for inventory at the dispensary for its opening,” Spengler said. “We wanted to regroup. COVID changed a lot of things with investors.”

Originally one of the minor investors in the company, Spengler helped design the interior layout and design of the dispensary.
“I took a step back to focus on some other projects. When we faced this rough time around COVID, I stepped back in, and they nominated me president to oversee the day to day,” Spengler said.

Now, just six to eight weeks out, Spengler said the opening “is actually happening.”

The company had an ambitious plan in 2020 to open a medical and adult use dispensary, along with building a marijuana grow and extraction facility at 408 River St. The facility was slated to open in August 2020, but has been pushed back to a later date.

“We don’t have a target for the grow operation yet,” Spengler said. “The plan is to be working on that for the summer.”

Still, Spengler is excited to bring the 7Engines vision to Buchanan.

Though Spengler is originally from the metro Detroit area, he spends most of his time in the Chicago area. He said the atmosphere in Buchanan is refreshing.

“It’s been a really welcoming community,” he said. “We’ve warmed up to the community quite a bit. I don’t think we’ve worked with any contractor further away than St. Joseph. It’s just [full of] good people.”
Elements of the 7Engines dispensary location, at 1101 E. Front St., include a prominent drive-thru feature. The construction around the old bank building originally in its place made it an intuitive conversion. Spengler said, at least for now, it will be put to use for receiving deliveries.

“It’s unusual to have a drive-thru,” Spengler said. “The state allows it due to COVID, but Buchanan won’t allow it until it’s a permanent rule.”

Being such a prominent building on the way into Buchanan, the name has drawn discussion.

According to the 7Engines website, the name was chosen because cities in the area were built seven miles apart, which was the length early steam engines could move before needing a water stop.

“Our company name also represents the native Potawatomi peoples’ ideal of Seven Generation Sustainability, a concept that urges the current generation of humans to live and work for the benefit of seven generations into the future,” according to 7Engines’ website. “Seven also represents the sacred core values by which the Potawatomi people lives. While this approach holds a very powerful local significance, these ideals are equally effective across Michigan and beyond.”

As 7Engines nears its opening date, Spengler said the dispensary will be opening hiring in the next couple of weeks.

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