SAULT STE. MARIE — The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Lume Cannabis Company have announced they have been awarded an adult-use marijuana retail license on Sault Tribal lands.
“We are excited about our partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and pleased to announce we’ve received an adult-use marijuana retail license to open our newest Lume location,” Lume president and COO Doug Hellyar said in a press release. “We look forward to introducing our high-quality cannabis products to… Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding communities.”
The plan has been in the works since late 2019 to early 2020. This partnership will allow Lume Cannabis Company to open a marijuana retail store and sell its cannabis products in partnership with the largest tribe east of the Mississippi. Lume is planning to open five additional stores on tribal land across the Upper Peninsula in 2021 and 2022.
Lume has been in business since 2018 and offers more than 20 strains of Lume flower, pre-rolls, effects-based Lume Cartridges, edibles and a new line of CBD products available. Lume is a privately held, vertically integrated cannabis company with Michigan roots, committed to producing cannabis products for both medical patients and recreational consumers. Their business started to accelerate in October of last year after their second store opened. Now, they have over 10 stores.
All Lume flower is grown and cultivated in their facility in Evart, by a team of growers which ensures.
Hellyar said that the company was introduced to Joel Schultz of the Sault Tribe economic development corporation through a mutual acquaintance. From there, there was an initial meeting where discussions took place about this plan and an agreement was reached.
Schultz said in a press release that the Tribe is honored to work with Lume to bring cannabis products to medical patients and adult-use consumers who live in or visit the Sault and the Eastern Upper Peninsula area. He also said the Tribe is working progressively to diversify economic development to enhance revenues to expand services to Sault Tribe members.
The 2500-square-foot facility, named Lume, will be located on 3 Mile Road between Walmart and Fernelius and is aiming to open in November. Only adults 21 years and up will be able to purchase marijuana and those with a medical card will receive a discount. This store will employ 20 people and while everyone can apply to this job, Tribal members are preferred. According to Schultz, applicants do not need an extensive history in cannabis but they are required to have strong customer service skills.
Schultz added that the Economic Development Corporation did not rush into any decisions and that they evaluated a lot of opportunities in the cannabis industry and feel they have come out with the safest compromise.
“There are people against it, there are people that want to see Tribal employees only, locally-run,” he said. “It’s a big arena with lots of opinions and we did our best to settle it into something that would give to the Tribe the much needed revenue to deliver its services and be respectful to our community and our people.”
Hellyar added, “Our newest partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians will take our operations to the next level and establish us as the state’s go-to source for all things cannabis, including our commitment to educating our customers and making it as convenient as possible for them to access the best, safest products to meet their individual needs.”
While the city of Sault Ste. Marie has opted out from marijuana facilities within its limits, Hellyar said that Tribal lands are exempt since they are under their own jurisdiction. He said that they didn’t have any local challenges when bringing this venture to life but they had to work closely with the state of Michigan in order to ensure everyone was fully on board with it.
Lume also operates stores in Adrian, Big Rapids, Evart, Honor, Kalamazoo, Mackinaw City, Negaunee, Owosso, Petoskey and Walled Lake. Their Evart cultivation, which is currently 50,000 square feet with 100 employees, will be expanded to 150,000 square feet by the end of 2020 and 450,000 square feet by the end of 2024. This will make Lume the leading single-state cannabis operator in the United States.
For more information on the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, visit saulttribe.com. To learn more about Lume, visit their website at lume.com.