A 130-acre medical marijuana park development dubbed, Harvest Park, is scheduled to be built in the township of Windsor. When built, the park will be the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi River and is expected to create upwards of 1,000 new jobs in the area. Investors are hoping that 63 acres of the park’s main infrastructure will be completed within the next 60 days and are planning on opening up next Spring if all goes well. Do you think other large-scale operations will be soon to follow?
WINDSOR TWP. — Plans are underway to build a 130-acre medical marijuana industrial park in the township that its investors say will be the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi.
Once built, the development called Harvest Park is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs in a variety of marijuana-related fields, said Jeff Donahue, Harvest Park Development LLC’s managing director.
“I think the location is perfect,” said Donahue, a Lansing native. “It’s an area ripe for development.”
Harvest Park is expected to occupy two parcels of land at Creyts and Lansing roads, east of General Motors’ Delta Township Assembly plant. The park will house businesses that specialize in growing, processing, testing and secure transport of marijuana.
Donahue and a team of private investors are hopeful that 63 acres of the park’s infrastructure – water, sewer, power, etc. — will be built within the next 60 days.
Once the first phase of the Harvest Park is completed, then it will be on to the other 67 acres, with the goal of opening the park this spring.
“As we get further along the road, we’ll have specific bylaws, rules and regulations,” Donahue said of Harvest Park’s tenants.
The 63-acre portion of Harvest Park is divided into 10 lots available for sale. Land will be available to marijuana cultivators, processors, secure transporters, testing labs and suppliers. All will need approval from the township and state to operate. Two of the lots are already under contract with the company.
As the park attracts tenants, Donahue expects to see a creation of “ancillary businesses” that specialize in fields like packaging, machine operation and data analytics. Once tenants commit to Harvest Park, he anticipates there will be several job postings and job fairs.
To meet heavy power demands, the company said in a news release it has partnered with a “local utility company to locate a substation inside the park.”
A Lansing Board of Water & Light spokesperson said in an email the city-owned utility is not involved in the project.
A spokesperson for Consumers Energy, which also has customers in township, wouldn’t confirm or deny it has a role in Harvest Park.
“Because of customer privacy issues, we cannot comment on the specifics of this or any other project,” Consumers spokesperson Katie Carey said in an email.
Harvest Park could end up a boon for Windsor Township, a 35-square-mile area south of Delta Township that has about 7,000 residents. The township is south of the I-69/I-96 interchange.
“We’re just providing an opportunity,” Township Supervisor Marcus Braman said.
An ArcView Market Research/New Frontier Data study estimates legal market sales in the U.S. are expected to surpass $22 billion by 2020. Experts in the Michigan market estimate medical marijuana revenues at more than $700 million per year if full legalization eventually happens.
The city of Lansing remains at a standstill enacting its recently passed medical marijuana ordinance because some voters have petitioned for a referendum in hopes of blocking it. Signatures are still being reviewed.
Windsor Township appears ready to embrace the industry and move forward. In June, the township board approved a 12-page marijuana ordinance that requires marijuana establishments to obtain special land use permits and state-approved licenses to operate.
The township’s ordinance prohibits the opening of provisioning centers, also known as dispensaries, but allows the other types of marijuana businesses permitted by state statute.
“We like to keep things pretty simple,” Braman said of the township’s ordinance. “If you meet requirements, then move forward. If you don’t, you don’t.”
State law allows cities and townships to decide whether to allow marijuana establishments to the operate in their communities and which types of businesses to allow. To operate a marijuana establishment in Michigan, people will need to have approval from both the state and the municipality where the business is located.
Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is expected to have license applications available on Dec. 15.