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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Lume Cannabis is closing, are pot shops saturated in Bay City?

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Bay City, Michigan (WJRT) – Bay City, which had the highest number of bars per capita, quickly became famous for the amount of marijuana dispensaries in city homes.

As reported earlier this month, a popular dispensary, Lume Cannabis Company, has closed its doors in Bay City and is moving to another location in Michigan.

Some city commissioners and community members have opposing views as Lume, Michigan’s largest cannabis company, is looking to set up shop elsewhere.

“I think a lot is too much. You have to have a bottom lid, so you don’t have one in every corner,” said Fernando Torna, an employee at the adjacent Beavers Bar in Bay City.

Some said street closures in Bay City during the summer may have affected business.

“This summertime location is just a walking distance away, you just can’t stop,” said Bay City resident Teddy Zuwicks.

Lume is closing four stores across the state, citing a “reorganization for growth” as cannabis revenue reaches new highs. A whopping $31 million in taxes was collected from legal sales in 2020.

Ed Clements, the Bay City commissioner, who does not support capping licenses, said, “I’ve told critics there are too many, just wait and see. After a while, there will be closings and mergers…when dispensaries close, the site they leave is the site they leave.” It is being renovated, updated and improved almost turning the key to a new business.”

“I agree with that mantra – the pot digging. The more these resources increase, I would like to see this investment go into our city streets and infrastructure,” said 6 Ward City Commissioner and Commissioner Christopher Gerrard.

But others feel differently.

Bay City Commissioner Brent Brunner says he supports capping the license and told ABC12, “The market will decide what it is and what it isn’t ready for.”

But even marijuana giants like Lume are struggling to stay in the game here, as they look to open stores in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Portage.

Whether the pot shops stay or go, the fact that they are here at all can be a good thing for the city.

“If this business doesn’t work out, then hopefully another company will come after it, whether it’s another operation selling the same product or a completely different company,” Gerrard said.

With 50 marijuana licenses available in Bay City to retail marijuana, it doesn’t look like the industry here will collapse anytime soon.

Bay City, along with Ann Arbor and Battle Creek, top the state in best-selling marijuana stores.

Currently, there are 23 approved retail medical and recreational marijuana facilities in Bay City, 10 of the 12 with open licenses, 11 sites approved with provisional certification, and three more are nearly ready for review.

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