‘We’ve finally made it,’ Michigan village president says of large marijuana grow facility promising 200 jobs

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LAWRENCE, MI – After 24 years in commercial construction, Henry Payne left the career to join a large marijuana growing facility in Lawrence.

The Lawrence resident started using medical marijuana in 2010 after he hurt his back. He said he hasn’t used any opioids in eight years.

When he learned 305 Farms was opening a large marijuana growing facility in his village, he decided to join because of the positive effects marijuana has had on his life.

For some in the surrounding community, the positive effects of 305 Farms opening extend to the village of Lawrence too.

The money brought it from licensing fees and taxes has allowed the village to buy a police car, add funding to local schools and start planning infrastructure changes, Village President David Quick said.

“We’ve finally made it for Lawrence,” Quick said. “Lawrence has struggled for a long time. The park has struggled. With 305 coming in and bringing in all these jobs, the tax base is phenomenal for us.”

305 Farms held its grand opening Tuesday, March 15, for its first, 44,000-square-foot building in Lawrence’s business park. Three buildings, with a combined 350,000 square feet, are expected to be in operation on the property by 2025.

The first building will hold 2,500 marijuana plants. Once the campus is complete, the company expects to grow 80,000 plants across the three buildings.

The minimum pay is $20 for entry level positions at the facility, the company said.

The village had around 980 residents, according to 2020 Census data, so more than 200 new jobs will be a huge boost for the community, Quick said.

“305 gave us that spark that we need to start moving forward,” the village president said. “We looked at them and went, ‘OK we can start building off of this now.’”

Instead of budgeting for 3-5 years out, the sudden bump in tax revenue means the village can immediately start making improvements, Quick said. He said the hope is the increase in jobs helps revitalize the village’s downtown area as well.

Housing and increased traffic are things the village council will have to address as 305 Farms gets up and running, Quick said.

“At this point, being council, we have to sit down and go, ‘What’s our first priority? What do we look at?’” Quick said.

305 Farms chose Lawrence as the location because the council was all for the idea, Vice President of Business Development Mitchell Maltz said.

“Lawrence was so nice to us,” Maltz said. “They said, ‘Hey, you guys want to build this kind of facility and you’re going to create the kinds of jobs you’re going to create? We’re all for it.’”

The village heard proposals from other companies that did not sound trustworthy, Quick said. They were wary of a business going sideways after making large promises. But 305 Farms has proven trustworthy, and had good conversations with the village’s legal counsel, Quick said.

“It’s exciting for us,” he said Wednesday. “I can’t tell you how exciting it is for us to have 305 here.”

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Production Operator Location: Lansing, MI 48911 Company: 305 Vapes, LLC Compensation: $22.00/ hour  Company Overview 305 Vapes is managed by The Verleur Group, LLC (TVG).