Grow operation planned for JC Penney mall store in Michigan
Retail is having a rough time of it in some communities, while the marijuana business is booming, so it's not too surprising to see a story like this: In Houghton, Michigan, a marijuana grow business is looking to set up shop in an abandoned JC Penney mall store. The mall already offers a dispensary called the Portage Caregiver Center, and the founder of that dispensary has returned to the township to talk about how the local JC Penney store could be renovated into a marijuana grow site. The mall already boasts a community college, a laser tag place, and a cinema, and so the grow site, if approved would have some solid company already.
It's unclear if the plan will actually move forward -- Michigan requires opt-in from local government to allow licenses, so it's completely up to the local township to decide if they want that business in their town. It's a good idea, though -- not only would it put all of that space to good use, but it would help to provide some locally-grown flower to sell in the dispensary. The grow site could even be a showcase for how the weed industry can renovate and develop other spaces abandoned by retail businesses.
It sounds like the owner has made their pitch, so now it's up to the residents of Houghton. Even if this deal doesn't happen, however, we'd expect to see more stories like this, enabling a growing marijuana industry to repurpose other open areas.