William Haas has his eye on three machine factory buildings in Buchanan that could be retrofitted to grow and process medical marijuana.
Ed Graveline can look around an empty old Clark Equipment industrial site on River Street in Buchanan and envision 11 different rooms, each with its own “climate” for growing medical marijuana.
And over on Front Street, at the old Chemical Bank drive-thru on the east edge of town, Graveline, a Michigan City businessman, would like to develop another medical marijuana venture, a dispensary, although his vision there is yet to take shape.
He doesn’t think the state is going to allow drive-thrus for medical marijuana dispensaries, and he calls that a mistake.
“Walgreens has them,” said Graveline. “CVS has them.”
The city of Buchanan is just beginning to assess local medical marijuana business proposals like Graveline’s after it spent most of the year preparing for them. Graveline’s plans and some others could come before the city planning commission Dec. 12.
Other area communities that are joining in Michigan’s new seed-to-sale distribution system for medical marijuana —which was adopted late last year and is set to start in 2018 — aren’t quite that far along.
Communities can opt into the system and collect some fees and taxes by adopting their own ordinances in conjunction with state law to govern five types of businesses: growers, processors, transporters, safety compliance facilities and dispensaries.
The state will begin accepting medical marijuana business license applications Dec. 15 and could issue the first licenses early next year, but maybe not until spring. Area communities opting into the system face no particular deadlines, but some had hoped to get rules and approvals for potential businesses in place before