Hundreds apply for jobs with Michigan medical marijuana mega farm

Twitter icon

Nick Liberati just graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in horticulture -- and he wants in on the Michigan marijuana industry.  For the 25-year-old Allen Park resident, a job with the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service wasn't quite cutting it.

Thursday morning, he was among 575 job applicants looking for a job with Green Peak Innovations, a medical marijuana mega farm poised to open just southwest of Lansing. "It's a new industry," Liberati said. "I would like to get started on the ground floor." 

Green Peak Innovations is looking to become a giant in the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. The company just finished construction on its research and development center on Jolly Road in Lansing, and will launch its indoor grow operation in Windsor Township at Harvest Park Dec. 10 -- and that's just the beginning. 

Story Continues Below

The company is working to control all aspects of production -- from seed to sale -- and is planning to open 19 provisioning centers across the state. Five of those are slated to open in the first part of 2019. They're also looking to branch out into Ohio, where medical marijuana is legal, as well as to other medical marijuana states.

Green Peak Innovations is part-owned by CEO Jeff Radway, who was looking to retire from a 30-year career in the apparel industry.  "My wife likes to joke that I was retired for less than two days," Radway said.

A conversation with his nephew, then a medical healthcare lobbyist, about why Uber doesn't deliver marijuana led to a business plan.  "At one point in the conversation, he said, the end of prohibition," Radway said. "And my ears went up. That conversation led to a business conversation about how to become a player in the industry." 

Radway said the company will produce flower, concentrates and vape cartridges, as well as wellness products like oils, tinctures, balms and bath bombs. Eventually the company will add edibles after doing more research.

To launch the indoor grow operation in Lansing -- which the company says will be the largest facility east of the Mississippi River -- Radway says he needs to hire 130 people. Most of those jobs are in production; and 50 of them are directly related to farming and harvesting.

The company was also seeking inventory and control technicians, buyers, processing managers, distribution managers and custodians. A total of 575 people showed up at Green Peak Innovation's job fair Thursday at Eagle Eye Golf Club near Lansing. 

Among them was Michael Schultz, 28, of Lyons. Schultz has been a medical marijuana caregiver since 2013, and wanted to take his growing skills to a real company. 

"I'm excited. This is way bigger than what I'm used to," Schultz said. "Growing is not an easy job."  Voters in Michigan will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan at the polls Nov. 6. 

For caregivers like Schultz, legalization could kill their business with patients.  For business owners like Radway, it presents a major challenge. Medical marijuana businesses would have first crack at recreational business licenses.  "Right now, our hands are full focusing on medical," Radway said. "If and when the vote passes, we're going to evaluate it. ... We really have to see what the rules are, what regulations come out, and then we'll evaluate."

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Regional Marijuana News: