Allison Farley, Rize Cannabis public relations and marketing director, inspects a station at the medical dispensary counter at the company’s North Stephenson Avenue building in Iron Mountain. (Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photos)
IRON MOUNTAIN — Recreational marijuana sales will likely begin soon in Iron Mountain as the pandemic has slowed, but not stopped, a major cannabis project.
Workers are completing exterior work at the Rize U.P. dispensary at 1580 N. Stephenson Ave., one of two retail shops authorized by the city council in January.
“Coronavirus threw a lot of hiccups in,” said Casey Honeyager, Rize U.P. cultivation director. “We’re crossing our fingers hard,” he said of the projected Sept. 5 opening date.
Rize has its medical licensing in hand and needs only final city approval for adult-use sales, he said.
“We’re very excited,” said Allison Farley, Rize Cannabis public relations and marketing director. “It looks different even than yesterday,” she said, praising local contractors who have been involved from the start.
Tim Tippett of G. Brooks Electric Inc. in Iron Mountain works Wednesday near the entrance to Rize U.P.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the dispensary will initially offer curbside service only, although everything is in place otherwise, Farley said.
Rize promised a $5 million project and 60 to 90 jobs in gaining its licensing foothold. The company had targeted late April to begin adult-use sales, but then came the coronavirus, a shutdown, and delays in getting materials.
Honeyager estimated the investment already approaches $2 million, with construction to begin on a new building of 40,000 square feet to house much of its growing operation.
Rize will have room for about 1,500 plants in its renovated soft drink plant of 8,900 square feet, featuring new walls and flooring. The long-range plan is to have as many as 7,000 plants grown for both