When the Pugsley Correctional Facility closed last year, the village of Kingsley lost more than 200 jobs. Now a medical marijuana company from Canada says it can replace about 100 of those jobs, if it’s allowed to build a production facility in the Kingsley Industry Park.
TheraCann says the facility would cover 100,000 square feet, and would cost $20 million to build.
Richard Goodman is president of U.S. operations for TheraCann. He says the company does not plan to open a retail store, but will help facilitate 20 local marijuana growers operating in the new building.
“Basically what we would be doing is … acting as business coaches, planners and guides,” says Goodman.
The Kingsley facility would be the first that TheraCann owns and operates, says Goodman, and it will sell its products only to licensed marijuana dispensaries in Michigan.
Goodman says the majority of jobs at the new facility would go to local residents, including positions like lab technicians, accountants, office staff and security.
The Village of Kingsley’s Downtown Development Authority plans to hold a symbolic vote Wednesday night on TheraCann’s proposal.
Goodman says reaction in the community has been mixed.
“Everything from ‘this is exactly what we need’ to ‘you guys are doing the devil’s work,” says Goodman. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. And that’s part of the process – education.”