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IM wants updates from local marijuana investors

IRON MOUNTAIN — Businesses holding licenses to grow or sell marijuana in Iron Mountain are expected to report by Friday on the progress they’ve made in meeting promises made during the city’s application process in 2019.

In seeking applications, the council capped the number of retailers at two and mainly scored the proposed projects on economic factors. A pair of retail shops and accompanying grow facilities were authorized in January 2020.

Because the pandemic has slowed construction, the deadline to begin full operations was extended from Oct. 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021. Now, at the direction of the city council, City Manager Jordan Stanchina is requesting information from the licensees on their progress.

In October, Rize Cannabis opened a curbside dispensary at 1580 N. Stephenson Ave. after promising a $5 million investment for its retail outlet and grow facility.

The other licensed retailer, Lume Cannabis, promised a $2.18 million project that includes renovating a pair of dilapidated downtown buildings for a retail shop at 117 and 119 S. Stephenson Ave. The company’s planned growing and processing facility would be on the west side of Hydraulic Falls Road between Stephenson Avenue and Breitung Cutoff Road.

Based on the companies’ responses, the council might again extend the deadline for completion, or consider other options.

Another major investor, Superior Selections, finished out of the running for a dispensary but opened a cultivation center in June at a renovated warehouse at 106 E. Smith St. on the city’s north side.

In October, council member Nathan Zemar proposed expanding the number of marijuana retailers, or lifting the cap entirely, but the idea was turned down. During a meeting Monday at City Hall, the council had no discussion on marijuana licensing but acknowledged it may be a topic at its next regular meeting April 19.

In other action, the council:

— Adopted a resolution to support commercial fishing in the Upper Peninsula. The resolution urges the Michigan Legislature and Department of Natural Resources to advance policies that ensure the viability of commercial fishing businesses.

— Recognized April 28 as Workers Memorial Day. The resolution honors members of the labor force and frontline responders who have been injured or disabled or have died as a result of workplace accidents, negligence, or lack of adequate protections. It pays tribute as well to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the city.

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