Michigan’s first tribal-owned cannabis business has opened on the Upper Peninsula (UP). Owned by Bay Mills Indian Community, Northern Lights Cannabis Company aims to provide jobs and opportunities for the local area, said Bay Mills Chairman Bryan Newland.
“We have always been looking for ways to expand career opportunities for our people here and generate additional revenues for our tribal community. In particular with Northern Light Cannabis Company, the decades-long war on drugs has had a particularly harmful impact on communities of color. Now we’ve seen here with the legalization of cannabis in Michigan that a lot of the people who are benefiting from this industry are wealthy investors. What sets us apart is we’re a community-owned cannabis company and the benefits flow right back into our local community in the Eastern UP.” — Newland, in an interview with WJMN
The new 110-acre area will be a vertically integrated seed-to-sale facility. It’s expected to take up to a year to bring product to market. Phase two will involve building retail stores around Chippewa County and near the Bay Mills Resort and Casino, according to a WPBN/WGTU report.
Newland told WJMN that he hopes the increased number of jobs will attract tribal members back home who have left for other jobs or to pursue higher education.
“So that means having a wide range of job opportunities for our people,” he said. “Whether it’s gaming and hospitality, health care, higher education, administration, or now the cannabis industry.