Prairie Plant Systems, Inc., a Canadian biotechnology company, has proposed using closed copper mines in Michigan to grow medical marijuana. The mines are located on Michigan’s upper peninsula. The marijuana would then be supplied to medical marijuana dispensaries and patients in Michigan.
PPS, Inc. currently has a contract to provide medical marijuana in Canada, but would need both state and federal approval to convert the copper mines into cultivation centers.
Currently the mines are used for plant-based pharmaceutical research. According to Prairie Plant Systems, using the mines for marijuana cultivation would create 200-300 jobs in the area.
Growing underground provides extra security, controlled light, protection from bugs and contaminants, and constant temperatures that are all important to the company, which considers marijuana cultivation to be the same as plant-based pharmaceutical cultivation.
It is likely, though, that the center could not be approved without the go-ahead from the DEA. Considering the DEA’s current stance on marijuana, it is not expected that they will change their opinions any time soon.
While some do support the use of the mines for medical marijuana cultivation, others believe that the mines should be reopened for copper mining, as the price of copper has increased since the mines were originally shut down in the 1990s.