LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Recreational marijuana has been legal here for a little more than two months but, for medical marijuana, the Lansing area will soon be home to a major operation.
In fact, it will be one of the largest in the state.
Hundreds of new jobs will be created, but it also comes at a time when medical marijuana recalls are becoming more frequent.
When the facility is running at it's maximum, it will produce 30,000 pounds of marijuana per year, the CEO of Green Peak Innovation said.
The company is moving into its new headquarters this week, and there are already plans to expand.
Employees at Green Peak on Wednesday harvested the business's first medical marijuana crop.
"We are bringing a tremendous amount of production to the market, and some of it is ready to go to market in the next couple of weeks," said CEO Jeff Radway.
Green Peak is licensed for 19 of its own dispensaries.
The company is already planting deep roots in the Lansing area.
It will eventually produce recreational marijuana under its brand Skymint.
Green Peak will break ground on another 170,000-square-foot facility this spring.
"We're not allowed to actually combine the plants, so the plants that you saw today are medical only. When we get into recreational licensure, we'll have a separate plant inventory that supplies the (recreational) market," said Radway.
Some have talked about a medical marijuana shortage in Michigan, but Radway says that might not be the case.
Green Peak's second harvest is not yet fully sold.
"If the licensed, legal provisioning centers needed product, they would be calling us to place orders," said Radway.
The building is secure with locks on every door and armed guards on hand.
Employees wear scrubs, hair nets, gloves and shoe covers to prevent contamination.
With recent medical marijuana recalls, Radway says safety is paramount.
"Everything is pre-tested. We're running our own in-house lab that we use before we send out for third-party testing. So, this is a rigorous state process, but, in our view, it needs to be," said Radway.
There are currently more than 80 people working for Green Peak.
The company plans to hire another 700 in the next few years to work at its facilities and dispensaries.
Radway says the company hopes to have the new facility built by the end of next year.