GWINN — The Forsyth Township Planning Commission on Jan. 13 unanimously approved a conditional-use permit and site-plan review for the operation of a medical and recreational marijuana business at 246 E. M-35 for the Gwinn-based Baker Curtis Cannabis Company.

Planning Commission Chairman Art Ontto listed proposed conditions for the permit, including an amended site plan, site parking not causing traffic backups on existing highways, no odors leaving the building, operations conforming to the township ordinance for medical and adult-use marijuana, and a lighting plan.

In an email, CEO Eric Curtis said the company is a locally owned and operated marijuana cultivator and retailer.

“The company’s guiding philosophy is ‘cultivating community and relationships,’” Curtis said. “By virtue of extensive renovations, new life and purpose has been given to the old Family Dollar. Baker Curtis is also renovating 246 E. M-35, formerly The Art of Massage, to house the marijuana retail portion of the business.

“Given our strong roots in this area, the owners look forward to benefiting the local community. When both projects are completed, we will have invested over $1.8 million and are very proud that all local contractors were utilized in the build-outs.”

Its class C cultivation license, Curtis said, allows for up to 2,000 plants to be grown. Those plants will be turned into finished products including pre-rolls and processed to make concentrates like wax and cartridges.

“Our products will be sold at our own licensed marijuana retailer and at other popular establishments throughout the state of Michigan.

“The grow will use state-of-the-art LED lights, water-reclamation systems and crop-steering technology,” said Curtis, who noted that using the most current technology will reduce water usage and maximize plant production. “We are very excited to bring these national recognized growing systems to our building. “We will be growing several ‘craft cannabis’ strains, including strains specifically bred in Michigan.”

Curtis also pointed out that Baker Curtis will be the first recreational licensed retailer in Forsyth Township.

“The retail center will offer our very own grown cannabis, which was produced just down the road,” Curtis said.

The center will offer other Upper Peninsula- and downstate-grown cannabis as well, he said.

“Our goal will be to have something for everyone with a strong focus on customer service,” Curtis said.

“The experienced staff will answer any questions and guide each person through their purchase, offering a wide variety to everyone.”

Curbside pick-up will also be available.

“Building a cultivation and retail center takes a significant amount of time, money and permitting. Our group has been planning this project for over a year. It will be very satisfying to see it at completion, he said.

“It also takes a variety of individuals to come together with a plan. Our ownership group brings a lot of business experience with diverse backgrounds.”

Curtis said the company expects to employ 14 people combined between both businesses. The cultivation operation is projected to be in full operation in February with the retail center opening in March.

Kennel permit approved

The commission also unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for Leslie Frohriep, a renter at 104 Cougar St., Gwinn, to operate a kennel in a residential-3 zoning district.

The kennel would be for a maximum of four dogs, which when outside would be under supervision.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is

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