Medical marijuana company wants to invest millions into Bay County

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An undisclosed medical marijuana company is looking at the former Dow Chemical Co. and Crane Resistoflex building at 4675 E. Wilder Road.Andrew Dodson | MLive File Photo  

A medical marijuana company has approached Bangor Township about investing $21 million to purchase and convert an old factory building into a grow and distribution facility.

But before the controversial industry comes to town, the township’s board of trustees needs to throw its support behind it. A discussion takes place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at Bangor Township Hall, 180 State Park Drive. It’s unclear at this time if the board is going to make any formal decisions on the matter Tuesday evening.

The company, which township officials are declining to name, hopes to purchase the old Dow Chemical Co. and Crane Resistoflex building at 4675 E. Wilder Road and hire 140 people to work at the plant. If plans come to fruition, the plant would supply medical marijuana to 50 percent of the company’s¬†dispensaries across the state.

Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley supports the idea because of the potential economic boom it could bring to the township and Bay County.

“This is not a Cheech and Chong movie,” Rowley said. “This is no different than going to Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy and picking up your prescription.

“I don’t use the stuff myself, but when I see a company who wants to come here, invest all this money and employ all of these people — where else am I going to get that type of opportunity?”

Bringing the company to the township isn’t as easy as the board approving a resolution Tuesday evening.

If approved, zoning laws and local ordinances would need to be updated, Rowley said. And the state would ultimately need to approve the operation.

The Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act went into effect last December. A new application process for licensed dispensaries is expected to be finalized by Dec. 31, 2017. All municipalities need to approve some sort of resolution or legislation before the end of the year in order to be eligible to grow and sell medical marijuana.

“If Bangor doesn’t do it, maybe these guys go to Hampton or elsewhere,” Rowley said. “It’s a tough decision.”

In January, Pinconning Township approved a similar medical marijuana ordinance.

Rowley took to the township’s Facebook page to ask residents their opinions on medical marijuana. The post garnered a dozen responses, with about a quarter of people against the industry.

In 2008, when the state voted on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative, 57 percent of voters in Bangor Township approved the proposal on a 4,678-3,454 count, according to Bay County election results.

Tuesday’s meeting comes on the heels of a coalition submitting ballot language to the state to ask voters to legalize recreational marijuana. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol wants to regulate marijuana to those 21 or older, but allow users to consume it in a public place. The issue could appear on the 2018 ballot.

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Source: 420 Intel – United States

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