The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wakefield shelves support for marijuana business


April 11, 2018

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

CONFERRING AT Monday's Wakefield City Council meeting are, from left, members Kay Wiita (back turned,) Pat Mann and Jim Anderson; mayor pro tempore Amy Tarro; mayor John Granato; city clerk Sue Ahonen; city attorney Ray O'Dea and city manager Richard Brackney.


Wakefield - In back-to-back Monday meetings, the Wakefield City Council and planning commission both voted to "file" a request for support from Superior Cannabis Solutions, LLC, in Bessemer.

The request came from a March 28 letter from Kathleen Whitburn, director of market and business development for the company.

"As business owners and investors in the medical marijuana industry and in the U.P. of Michigan, we are actively reaching out to you to establish our business within the city of Wakefield," Whitburn wrote in her letter to city officials.

Moreover, the letter added, "We will focus on a positive economic impact for the city and its residents, as well as provide a safe distribution location for our patients."

Whitburn, former mayor of Bessemer, expressed the belief of her company officials that should Wakefield welcome the opportunity, "the economic impact will provide a viable, previously untapped revenue stream for the city and relief for your financially strapped citizens."

The letter continued, "In addition, there will be ancillary economic business development surrounding the industry."

Whitburn specifically asked the city pass "appropriate ordinances to opt-in on" the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act of 2016.

She concluded by asking city officials discuss her company's proposition "and consider bringing these tax dollars here, versus downstate."

City manager Richard Brackney recommended filing the letter in both meetings. "They're not asking for any action at this time," said Brackney.

Planning commission member Kay Manson pointed out Whitburn "seems to be asking the city to have appropriate ordinances in place."

Brackney told commission members, "If they want to be a grower, it has to be in an industrial park setting, and we don't have an appropriate place for that."

Both the planning commission and the city council voted unanimously to file the letter.

Mayor John Granato said Whitburn's letter will be available for review by the public in the municipal building.

In other business, the planning commission continued its discussion of proposed recreational options for Wakefield.

Brackney said he has been in contact with the Department of Natural Resources regarding its general views and the possibility of help from grants.

He said the DNR seems to prefer a single-use recreational trail in this region, as opposed to separate trails for bicycles, hikers and motorized vehicles such as snowmobiles and four-wheelers.

Brackney also said the DNR appears to support the establishment of a trailhead on Wakefield's Sunday Lake Street, across from Randall Bakery.


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