MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — The City of Marshall could soon be a hot spot for business and housing thanks to medical marijuana.
In fact, Marshall is quickly becoming the medical marijuana capital of the state.
"We get a lot of calls, a lot of questions,” said Marshall City Manager Tom Tarkiewicz.
Michigan Pure Med is building an 800,000-square-foot facility in Marshall to grow and process medical marijuana. The company plans to hire about 400 employees.
But it’s not just Michigan Pure Med, Marshall has approved three other growing and processing facilities.
"Housing is always very short in most towns, so we're hoping this will generate some new housing starts for us here," Tarkiewicz told 24 Hour News 8.
Caitlyn Whitman agrees. She works at a local real estate company and has lived in Marshall for three years.
"I think it's going to boost the market a lot, and we're going to be very busy trying to build more houses,” she explained.
The plan is for Michigan Pure Med to build its complex in four phases over the course of five years. The city doesn’t allow dispensaries, so the crop will be transported to areas in Michigan that do. It just so happens that Marshall’s geography favors marijuana production.
"Originally, (Michigan Pure Med) said they chose Marshall because we're within two hours of 80 percent of the population of Michigan,” said Tarkiewicz.
But not everybody is keen on the idea.
“Well, I have mixed reservations about it,” said Marshall resident Jenna Lightfoot.
Even so, Lightfoot says she has friends who use medical marijuana.
"I think that just because we're going to be the ones distributing it to everybody and not being the ones who have the stores and selling it, I think it's not going to have that much crime that people think it's going to bring to Marshall," said Whitman.
If all goes according to plan, Michigan Pure Med plans to break ground in September.