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Michigan village seeks to sell land to medical pot industry

Posted at 8:40 AM, Apr 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-21 08:40:11-04

KALKASKA, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan village whose president wants the community to be a pioneer in the medical marijuana industry is planning to sell a portion of its taxpayer-owned land, possibly for the cultivation of cannabis.

Kalkaska leaders voted this month to list nearly 10 acres (4 hectares) for sale within the industrial district, which is already zoned for medical marijuana businesses, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported .

Village officials also hired real estate brokers to help market the properties to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry. Officials hope the property sales will boost the village's coffers following costly legal settlements.

Ian Bertram, a real estate broker partnering with Kalkaska, said he's already in talks with a buyer who's interested in building a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Kalkaska.

The village is a growing market that's going to "pioneer the way for quite a few towns," Bertram said.

The move comes a month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eliminated a medical marijuana board that faced criticism for too slowly reviewing and approving licenses for businesses entering the market. Under Whitmer's direction, the newly established Marijuana Regulatory Agency is taking over the board's licensing functions.

Village President Harley Wales said the land sale marks the community's latest effort to stay at the forefront of Michigan's growing cannabis economy.

"We've tried to stay on the cutting edge of medical marijuana from the very beginning," Wales said.

Michigan voters approved the use of marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions in 2008. Roughly 293,000 patients are registered with the state to grow their own marijuana or obtain it from registered caregivers. Voters also legalized marijuana for recreational use last year.

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