The Green Mile: Bay City takes a deep dive into the marijuana business

Now that the state of Michigan is accepting recreational marijuana license applications, the Bay City board of commissioners is currently considering an ordinance amendment to double the limit for recreational licenses from 25 to 50. (Michael Piwowarski/editor-in-chief)

By Michael Piwowarski, editor-in-chief.

BAY CITY – By March 5, 2019, the 25th medical marijiuana business license was approved in Bay City. Starting in July, medical dispensaries have been opening up, including Skymint, Puff and Medical Woods.

Now, with Friday, Nov. 1, being the first day of Michigan accepting recreational marijuana business licenses, Bay City could be turning even greener.

Skymint was the first of many medical marijuana provisioning centers to open in Bay City, and has been selling flowers, vape pens, crystals, oils and other products for medicinal needs since July.

However, the store opened in the same month as when the Bay City board of commissioners passed ordinance amendments to allow recreational facilities within city limits, presenting new opportunities for the retailer.

Lansing-based grower Green Peak Innovations, the parent company of Skymint, has plans to expand into the recreational business.

“We have applied for license to be recreational, and as soon as the state can issue it to us, then we will start the proper growth […] for a recreational facility as well,” says Colleen Robar, public relations representative for Green Peak.

However, marijuana will not likely be available in Michigan recreationally until March of 2020, at the earliest.

The state requires recreational marijuana and byproducts to come from licensed recreational growers, which may not exist for a time yet. Andrew Brisbo, director of the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency, told the Detroit Free Press that access to medical marijuana for patients who need it must be given a higher priority.

“Every single plant that we grow has a QR code and is a separate plant,” says Robar. “We’re licensed for so many plants to grow. And so that […] when we get our [recreational] license, then we’ll start a new crop for recreational with their own QR codes.”

Green Peak is currently licensed to have 18,000 plants at their grow facility in Windsor Township. MLive.com reported in July that the company had planned to open 30 stores across Michigan, out of 100 in the United States.

The limit of medical dispensaries that can operate in Bay City was doubled from 25 to 50 in January. Now that the state is accepting recreational license applications, the Bay City board of commissioners is currently considering an ordinance amendment to likewise double the limit for recreational licenses from 25 to 50.

“We’re very optimistic about the future for both Bay City and Michigan,” says Robar. “They’ll get to recreational as well; it takes a while. Everyone’s not going to have flower on the same day.”

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaCollegiate and log on to deltacollegiate.com to see our continuing coverage of this developing story. Stay tuned to future issues as we take a closer look at the “Green Mile” of Bay City.

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