Great Lakes Green: An Opportunity in Western Michigan
Venturing into lesser-known locations is often a recipe for success in real estate, business, and certainly in cannabis. When we think of the cannabis industry we first think of California, Oregon, and Colorado. We tend to overlook the rest, as the world of cannabis has a reputation in these locations. In our last post, we explained why Michigan is an excellent investment into the cannabis market and how wholesale prices in Michigan are at $3,000+ per pound versus under $900-2,000 per pound in markets such as Oregon and California.
With only 22 current fully approved licenses in MI, and many of those companies focusing on the Detroit market, we are excited to share more about the value and importance of the West Michigan corridor which is a truly untapped part of this growing Michigan market. Welcome to Muskegon! More people than expected have heard of the name, but if you have not, this is a great time to learn about the area!
Muskegon is located on the western side of Michigan, along the azure-blue shores of Lake Michigan. The Muskegon metropolitan area has a growing population of 175,000 and has only one fully legal cannabis license operating in the area. The Muskegon-Grand Rapids-Holland metro area is the 2nd largest metro in Michigan with over 1.3 million people. Grown Rogue is building what would be one of 2 retail licenses operating in the Muskegon market. (along with a cultivation and processing license). Proximity wise, Muskegon is less than 200 miles from both Chicago and Detroit. Both major cities are within a few hours drive by car. The second-largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids, is only 40 miles away.
With an untapped location and good proximity out of the way, what are some of the things that bring people to Muskegon?
Tourism has been at an all-time high in Michigan in recent years. Tourists spent $313 million in Muskegon County in 2017, according to M Live. That was a 3.1% increase from 2016. Visit Muskegon reports 1.5 million tourists per year to the city. Muskegon is building a convention center and neighboring Fruitport township has a casino under construction. Recreationally, Michigan is a state that attracts those with an active lifestyle from camping to fishing to hiking to boating. Muskegon is also neighboring to the Huron-Manistee National Forest and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Forest is to the north. We see this as an alignment to our brand of enhancing life experience, mainly targeting individuals with an active lifestyle.
Our expansion into Michigan and Muskegon marks an important time for our company and for investors. Margins will become even healthier with plans in Muskegon that include 20,000 square feet of indoor cultivation, 3,000 square feet of processing and the addition of a 2,900 square foot retail store all in one site in a popular traffic corridor en route to Lake Michigan and other Michigan State parks. The cultivation facility is under construction and will be completed in Q4 2019 with our first harvest expected in Q1 2020. We are also in the process of pursuing major operations in Bay City and a retail store in the college town of Ann Arbor- and what a hit the latter would be with students!