CAPAC — Village officials are making strides toward allowing medical marijuana facilities.
On Monday, the council voted to have their attorney Al Francis draft an ordinance allowing for growing and processing facilities. The draft document will then go before the planning commission for their review in January before returning to the council for a final vote.
Monday's meeting was considered a joint, special meeting with the planning commission and included a public forum. Only a handful of residents attended and most voiced their support for the business enterprise Matt Roman, president and CEO of King Midas LLC, is proposing.
"It would be foolish to not move forward," council member Joe Nemecek said.
Matt Roman of King Midas LLC says the commercial grow and processing operation he'd like to build in Capac would generate more than 280 jobs.
At Monday's meeting, Francis said he'd reviewed a sample ordinance provided by Roman and would make some edits before presenting the document to the village. Francis likened the process to a typical business license application. He noted that the licenses can be suspended at the village's discretion.
At the public forum, Roman reiterated his plans for constructing one to two buildings totalling 500,000 to 1 million square feet for growing. He says his venture could create up to 284 jobs with an average salary of $62,000. Roman said the jobs would be very physical in nature. No prior experience would be necessary to apply as he plans to utilize an internal training model.
When asked why he's focused his efforts on Capac, Roman said he likes the location, believing it's strategically located in Michigan. He also believes the demographics, as it relates to the need for higher paying jobs, is a good fit.
Dena Long of the C3 Food Pantry in downtown Capac said it's apparent better paying jobs are needed in the community.
"We feed so many people that don't have good jobs...they're just barely making it," she said.
Roman said he plans
to open "a couple" of these type facilities in Michigan.
The draft provided by Roman prohibits such facilities from being within 3,000 foot radius from a school; 2,000 foot radius from a library or 1,000 feet from a church.
Roman said he'll employ a private security team, use a surveillance system and noted that each plant will be monitored with RFID tags from "seed to sale...this is the most regulated industry in the country."
Per state law, a growing facility can only be located on property zoned for ag/industrial use and a processing facility is only allowed on property zoned for commercial use.
Monday's vote among council members to draft their own ordinance was 6 to 1 with President John Grzyb voting no.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.