As work begins to verify thousands of signatures in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan, a company in metro Detroit is making early moves to capitalize on the measure if it's approved.
The company, Cannabis Property Brokers of Michigan, has its sights set on Mid-Michigan.
The company just purchased 25 acres of vacant land in Bay County's Bangor Township with hopes of establishing a pseudo-farmer's market for marijuana growers.
"This is fantastic," Bangor Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley said.
Rowley is thrilled about the new large scale green industry coming to Mid-Michigan.
"There'll be a lot of big jobs. Just in two of the larger facilities they are expecting to hire around 250 people each. That's 500 new jobs with a lot of potential," Rowley said.
Rowley said all of those new jobs will be in the medical marijuana field.
"For many years we've had our kids graduate from high school and go to college and move away to a faraway land to establish careers. Now people can stay here. We now have industry," Rowley said.
Cannabis Property Brokers of Michigan recently bought 25 acres for the project. They plan to build a multifaceted marijuana park that will grow and manufacture the project.
Jeffrey Yatooma, owner of the company, said it was easy to choose the location.
"The county was willing to work with us. They were open to the idea of the business park and cannabis in general," Yatooma said.
To start, Yatooma said they are dividing up the land to build 22 units. People can rent the units to grow their own business.Most of the spaces are already spoken for.
The property owners said they are going to break ground by the end of this year.
"They are 2,400 square foot spaces. They will be going to growers and to other people that want to get into the industry," Yatooma said.
He said each licensed grower will be able to produce about 1,500 plants per site.
Rowley said times are definitely changing and he didn't want to miss out on this opportunity.
"People used to look at it as drugs, but now we know this is medical. This is medical marijuana," Rowley said.
If full legislation is passed, Michigan would become the second largest market for legal marijuana behind California.
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