Niles City Council approves microbusiness license, option agreement for two marijuana businesses

Published 12:32 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

NILES — Two marijuana businesses are one step closer to serving the Niles community after the city council approved various steps in the process Monday evening.

Regional Roots, LLC received approval for a microbusiness license, and council approved an option agreement for Apex Grove to potentially purchase a parcel on the southwest corner of 13th and Lake streets.

Regional Roots co-owner Michael Felder spoke during public comments of the council meeting, sharing his goals for the business.

“[Regional Roots is] a company founded to cultivate, process and sell exclusive, high-quality cannabis and cannabis infused products,” he said. “We’re a business that will be operating a recreational grow of up to 150 mature plants. The company will be responsible for processing, packaging the finished products on site for sale to adults over the age of 21 at our business retail storefront, Regional Roots LLC.”

Regional Roots was approved for a microbusiness license, which means the business may grow, process and retail up to 150 plants on its site, but, per current Michigan law, cannot ever have larger crops or become part of a larger cannabis company.

“We plan to be the first microbusiness in Niles,” Felder said. “We’re very excited about it.”

Regional Roots is actively looking for a storefront in the S. 11th Street corridor, and intends to invest $150,000 to start the business, and employ 10 employees in year one. Felder said the business expects revenue at around $2 million in the first year, which will be reinvested into the business and the community.

“We’ll place emphasis on constant education and awareness of local and state regulations for licensure,” Felder said. “We’re very excited to be a part of the community of Niles in general and just kind of add to this community and grow that interest in the community.”

When it came time to vote, councilmember John DiCostanzo shared his approval.

“I want to thank Mr. Felder and his team for placing some confidence and putting their business in the City of Niles. I wish them luck,” he said. “I hope they get the state and local approvals that they need and have a successful business.”

Councilwoman Georgia Boggs asked for clarification on whether the business would only sell medical marijuana, or recreational marijuana as well, to which City Administrator Ric Huff clarified the business would sell adult-use (recreational) marijuana.

The business was awarded a provisional approval certificate in a 6-1 vote, with council members Gretchen Bertschy, Amanda Dunnem, Travis Timm, William Weimer, John DiCostanzo and Jessica Nelson voting yes. Boggs voted no, and Charlie McAffee was absent from the meeting.

Revisiting a business discussed at the Nov. 9 city council meeting, the council voted Monday to approve an option agreement for Apex Grove, which was approved for a purchase agreement in November.

Apex Grove anticipates construction of a 65,000-square-foot commercial building at a cost of approximately $2-$2.5 million, and had offered $31,500 for the parcel at the southwest corner of 13th and Lake streets.

According to council reports, “since the sale is contingent upon several conditions as noted in the agreement staff believed an option agreement was more appropriate than a purchase agreement. The parties reached a tentative option agreement subject to the council’s approval.”

The purchase price was set at $31,500, with an additional $1,000 non-refundable option price.

Council approved the option agreement unanimously, with the exception of councilmember McAfee, who was absent Monday.