The new medical marijuana facility opening in Saginaw County this spring will be the headquarters for other marijuana facilities throughout the state.
Great Lakes Natural Remedies, located at 3435 Sheridan Ave. in Spaulding Township, will be a medical marijuana growing, processing and dispensing facility, according to owner Trevor Wisniewski.
Wisniewski said the business will feature topicals, oils, drips, medical grade cannabis and edibles.
The business has 25 Class C licenses, two processing licenses, and one provisioning license, which will allow the business to have 37,500 plants in total.
Spaulding Township issued a permit in August for the site to operate as a medical marijuana facility, said township secretary Ginger Scheffler. The permit is good for up to one year.
Wisniewski, a Saginaw native and Arthur Hill High School graduate, has a background in regulation compliance, which has helped him navigate the regulations in the marijuana business.
“I’m down in Detroit now because of jobs and most of all my friends left Saginaw because of jobs,” Wisniewski said. “I’m like, why can’t we go back there and help the community, and see if there’s anything around that we can do commercially with this new industry in Michigan?”
Wisniewski and his wife interviewed people from around the country to put together a professional team with knowledge about the budding marijuana industry.
Jason Crockett, COO of Great Lakes Natural Remedies and Sarah Foss, director of provisioning and sales of Great Lakes Natural Remedies, are both from Denver, Colorado where they had prominent roles in the marijuana industry.
“Anything that comes in, I’m going to make sure is clean, tested,” said Foss. “I will be checking the back of packaging to make sure that everything is compliant before I even accept it into the store.”
“We’re going to be doing everything in-house, we’re fully vertical.” said Crockett.
You Buy It – You Leave
Patients need to have a government-issued medical marijuana card and ID to enter the facility and buy the products, said Wisniewski.
There will be several checkpoints where identification will be checked to assure the customer is the right person.
Foss added that the products will cater to different patients and their needs.
Patients can buy up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis-related products per day, which will be in child-resistant packaging, but they can’t consume the items on the property.
“You buy it, you leave,” said Wisniewski.
The provisioning center within the building will pay homage to Timbertown bowling Lanes, a business that was once housed in the building.
The center will be called Timbertown and have a bowling alley theme with pictures of the old businesses displayed on the walls.
Community & Jobs
Wisniewski said one of his goals it to make sure the community is educated and informed about the business.
“A lot of people just don’t know the facts,” Wisniewski said. “They don’t know how a provisioning center actually works and that there’s all these checks and you don’t just walk in. There’s security, there’s a waiting room.”
The Saginaw County-based business will be the headquarters to supply provisioning centers that Wisniewski owns and other unrelated centers throughout the state.
“We want to have this as our headquarters here, where we can grow a massive amount of medicine to be able to provide for patients throughout the state,” Wisniewski said.
Wisniewski said he has plans to give back to the community by taking the proceeds from the business to beautify parks in the area and donate money.
He added he chose Spaulding Township to plant the business because of the “dilapidated assets.”
“We’re taking a building that sold at auction five years ago for $45,000 and we’re putting $10 million into it, into the community,” Wisniewski said. “Just think of their tax revenue on their property taxes alone. Just for that property — that $10 million property.”
He said the business will employ about 50 people.
Foss said the employees will be called “bud tenders” and they will be trained to help communicate information to the customers among other tasks.
“Education is first and foremost so people know that people know what they’re getting into and that it’s safe, clean and safe for consumption,” Foss said.
She said people who have worked in the hospitality, sales and education fields would make solid candidates for employment.