CHESANING (WJRT) - (03/21/18) - The group proposing to bring a medical marihuana grow and distribution center to Chesaning made important progress Tuesday afternoon.
"The biggest hurdle was cleared yesterday because, you know, the township has a very different mindset on medical marihuana than the village does. So getting the annex was huge," said Zach Chludil, co-founder of Plant Life. He also owns a landscaping business in town.
Tuesday the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners voted to annex the 19 acre parcel, formerly home to Peet Packing Co., from Chesaning Township into the village of Chesaning.
Last year the village of Chesaning voted to allow such facilities, made legal by state legislation.
Plant Life, a group made up of several people with various backgrounds, wants to invest $40 million in the facility over the next five years, with $20 million in just the first year. The five year plan is predicted to created 320 jobs.
One of the Plant Life Members, Beau Parmenter, has owned the former site of Peet Packing Co. for more than 10 years. The new medical marihuana grow and distribution business would go on the 19 acre property.
"To me, it's honestly the biggest industry since Henry Ford started putting cars on the line. It's that big of an opportunity," said Chludil.
The medical marihuana would be grown inside several new buildings. The company's headquarters would be inside one of the existing buildings, which would be renovated.
Both of the members who spoke to ABC12 about the plans are from Mid-Michigan. They feel the location is great for shipping and there's a strong pool of workers here.
"This whole project could have went to a different town, but we wanted it to stay here because we want our community to benefit, we want to have jobs so our kids don't have to leave," Chludil said.
"We're going after quality and integrity, that was this business model for the last 100 years when they were open here, and we want to do it for the next hundred years here," Parmenter said.
Up next they have to secure a special use permit from the village. After that they can apply for a state license.
Their goal is to be operational this summer or fall, but it all depends on the village permit and state licensing.