Two medical marijuana companies are one step closer to setting up shop in Niles. This comes after the city’s plan commission voted to accept land use applications on Wednesday.
One of those locations is just feet away from where kids play sports every day at Krush Volleyball.
“In the community there are a very limited number of places to have a medical marijuana company and the industrial park happens to be one of the few places it can be,” said Sanya Vitale, the city’s Community Development Director and Zoning Administrator
Michi-Cann will be setting up shop at 1760 Renaissance Dr. near the volleyball training facility. The other will be about a half mile away at 1840 Terminal Rd., operated by MJM Holdings.
“From the outside you wouldn’t be able to notice that they are medical marijuana companies, whatsoever,” said Vitale. “They’re going to look like other big industrial companies, big warehouses and factories.”
People’s main concern is that the facility is going to be right through the trees by Krush Volleyball. They’re worried their kids may be able to get access inside and that there might be a smell.
“There are pretty extensive regulatory requirements with regards to security systems and security features on the property as well,” said Vitale.
She said they have been working with other cities that have these facilities and have comprehensible odor control as part of the plans.
Some parents or girls on the team don’t have a problem with the facility moving close by.
“As long as there’s security there and obviously they’re not burning there where the smell would come over where the girls could get contact, I don’t have an issue,” said Joyie Alvord, a parent of one of the players.
For the most part, opposition was mostly nonexistent at council meetings.
“For every 200 people we have for it we probably have five people who are against it,” said Vitale. “I think that everyone should feel very welcome to come to the city council meeting or the city plan commission meeting and voice their concerns. We don’t know if they do have concerns.”
When the council voted in December, the vote was tied because people had written into their council people voicing concerns. The mayor had to make the tie breaking vote.
Both facilities will have grow operations. MJM Holdings will also have a processing center to make edible compounds or oil. It is expected to bring 50 jobs and during the harvest season we can expect to see the workforce grow by at least 100 people. Michi-Cann will be a smaller operation with only three people growing 500 plants.
The process here is only about half way complete but we could start to see them open before the end of the year. Both companies now must apply to the state, have a massive occupancy review with the city.