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NoBo breaks ground on medical marijuana facility

NOW: NoBo breaks ground on medical marijuana facility

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- On Friday, NoBo Michigan broke ground on their new medical marijuana cultivation facility at what used to be an aluminum smelting plant in Benton Harbor on Alreco Road.

“This place right here, as bad and as bad and as abandoned as it looks, it’s just been sitting here like a diamond in the rough,” said Benton Harbor Commissioner Mary Alice Adams.

Ruins are what are left of a once thriving manufacturing development. But soon, it will once again be an economic boom for the city.

“It was the foresight of the city basically saying we have this piece of property that’s basically blighted,” explained NoBo Director Bill Stohler. “Basically we’ve got an 11 acre piece of property that’s costing us $100,000 in lost revenue in lost taxes annually, let’s do something with it.”

In just six months, the vacant 33,000 square foot facility will be repurposed into an operational medical marijuana cultivation facility.

“It means growth – it means jobs,” said Adams.

NoBo’s investments into the facility will $5.5 million, and the company will employ 65 workers directly from the Benton Harbor area.

“This was the perfect opportunity to actually bring some jobs within the city that adds to our tax base and actually give us more tax payers to pay into our city income tax,” said Adams.

“I haven’t done the calculations on the overall payroll, but it should be a substantial help for their pothole program,” Stohler said.

NoBo will operate on two Class C licenses, which means 3,000 plants will grow in the facility initially.

“There’s really no limit on how big this site can be developed to. It’s an 11 acre site; this is just less than an acre of the property,” explained Stohler.

The cannabis will be processed on another license at the facility.

“We’re also very happy to uh be able to be part of the growth of Benton Harbor. This city is really taking off.”

“This is that green blade of grass that’s growing out of the concrete to show that although it may look dead, there’s life that’s sprouting up in the City of Benton Harbor,” said Mayor Marcus Muhammad.

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