Golf might provide a state of euphoria to those who love the game, but in Michigan, one golf course could be broadening the state of bliss for those in pain.
On Tuesday, owners of Southmoor Golf Club in Burton received approval of from the city’s planning commission for a zoning change that would allow 37 acres of the 95-acre golf course to be converted into a multimillion-dollar medical marijuana facility, which could include multiple greenhouses, a processing center and a biomass plant, according an MLive.com report.
“We spent the last 18 months looking for the right place in Michigan to debut this (medical marijuana) concept, which we call a corporate cannabis park,” said Garrett Greenlee, president of CannaDevelopment, which, as the name implies, specializes in commercial cannabis. Greenlee (and, no, we did not make that name up) called Southmoor Golf Club “an excellent fit for the full development.”
Like a good number of golf courses in America, Southmoor is a money-loser. Since 2006, the beginning of the Great Golf Recession, courses have closed at a steady pace with few new courses opening in the last decade. Developers, multi-course operators and numerous consultants have said that as many as 2,000 to 3,000 of the more than 15,000 golf courses left in the United States need to close in order for the game to return to profitable equilibrium.
Some of the courses that have closed in the last decade have been converted to parks. Others have become strawberry farms or communal gardens, while some have simply gone back to nature, becoming overgrown fields and forests as if the game had never graced the grounds. But this appears to be the first case of a golf course potentially becoming a pot farm – a legal one, anyway.
David Boji, who owns Southmoor with his father, Wilson, told members of the Burton Planning Commission that the family had been trying to find a buyer for some time. “At the end of the day, the golden age of golf courses is over,” Boji said.
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