New grow facility opens in Iron County
IRON COUNTY — MC3 Botanicals, a women-owned company located in Mastodon township in Iron County, recently received its official license from the state of Michigan to operate the Class B grow facility. The license allows the business to cultivate up to 1,000 medical grade cannabis plants. MC3 is also in the process of obtaining a Class B recreational license.
Sherry Smies, Lisa Lesandrini and Susan Schuytema founded the company in 2018 in anticipation of Michigan voting to legalize recreational cannabis.
They built a “state-of-the-art solar greenhouse where their experienced team will grow premium, medical cannabis,” according to a news release. “The innovative, year-round greenhouse facility will not only produce maximum yields, but also an extremely high-quality product while reducing energy usage.”
“This wasn’t the easiest or least expensive choice to build, but our investment will pay-off in the long run with beautiful growing conditions and huge savings on our energy costs,” MC3 founder and president Smies said in the release.
“We will harness the power of the sun, provide a warm climate, and protect our plants from harsh environmental conditions,” said Smies. “This will also offer a year-round cultivation, climate control and a controlled exposure to sunlight. It’s a facility that not only will be a happy place for plants, but also for our team.”
All three owners agreed that it was important to join other Michigan professional cannabis businesses who are working toward changing the perception of the industry.
“Our entire team is made up of hard-working, educated professionals all with diverse backgrounds,” Schuytema said in the release. “We’re horticulturalists, entrepreneurs, inventors, carpenters, musicians, family, farmers, friends, caregivers and more. We each bring our own skills and vast business experience. We truly are the dream team.”
For Smies, the road to the Upper Peninsula started several years ago.
“I was approached to be a VP for a group working on getting licensed in the Crystal Falls area,” Smies said.
Though that business never got off the ground, Smies spent two more years learning everything she could about the industry and developed quite a passion for it, she said.
“As I was seeing how cannabis was helping so many people, I also realized I wanted to do something more meaningful with my career,” said Smies, a graphic designer by trade. “Building a women-owned and family business was another part of the equation.”
Lesandrini, who was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula, said she felt this journey chose her.
“I began learning more about the benefits of medical cannabis through documentaries and listening to people it has helped,” said Lesandrini. “It broke my heart to see families needing to uproot from their homes to travel to states that allowed medical cannabis as treatment for seizures brought on by epilepsy. It was so painful for me to watch. I felt a very strong pull to move in this direction.”
Lesandrini’s husband, Tom, is the company’s farm manager.
“Cannabis has helped so many people with many different ailments, but the stigma has been so concerning to people that they are not willing to try or won’t talk about it,” said Tom Lesandrini. “I want to be part of helping them get over that feeling and let them know they are not alone.”
Go to www.MC3Botanicals.com for more information about the company.