Why a stretch of road in Battle Creek is dubbed the ‘Marijuana Mile’

Between the banks of the Kalamazoo River and East Columbia Avenue in Emmett Township sits a 30-acre cannabis farm and dispensary.

Trucenta, a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Troy, touts the site for its ability to go from “seed to store” through indoor and outdoor grow farms and its Breeze retail brand dispensary that offers curbside pickup. A showroom is under construction for a summer opening.

“We’re ramping up for a very busy grow season,” said Meg Kucks, general manager for Breeze Battle Creek. “And we’re just dialing in what the BC consumer needs  dispensary-wise and what we can offer that’s a little bit more unique or something different than what we have here on the ‘Marijuana Mile.’”

Meg Kucks, general manager for Breeze Recreational Cannabis, stands for a portrait at Trucenta
s cannabis farm in Emmett Township on Friday, April 22, 2022.

What Kucks and many locals have dubbed the “Marijuana Mile” or the “Green Mile” is in fact a 3.7-mile stretch of pavement through Battle Creek and Emmett Township that has a combined 13 recreational cannabis retail businesses. Battle Creek has three along West Columbia Avenue —  with more on the way — and Emmett Township has 10 along East Columbia Avenue/East Michigan Avenue. 

The neighboring municipalities that opted in after recreational cannabis (21-and-over) was legalized in Michigan in 2018 have separate ordinances regulating the industry. But because Emmett Township shares a postal code with Battle Creek, the city effectively has the second-most adult-use retail pot dispensaries in the state — 24 total — according to the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (formerly Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency) licensing database. Battle Creek has one fewer than Michigan’s cultural cannabis capital, Ann Arbor (25), and Bay City (25), which has the most recreational pot dispensaries per capita.

“Lots of competition,” Kucks said. “I think here in Battle Creek were are the second-most saturated market in Michigan. Definitely, the most competitive, pricing-wise. We’re always price-adjusting with the ebb and flow of the market.”

Seeing green

East Coast Sour Deiseal is for sale at Quality Roots in Emmett Township on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

The state’s cannabis market has been a lucrative one, generating nearly $2 billion annually when combining medical and recreational sales.

More than $1.1 billion in adult-use marijuana sales in Michigan were reported in the 2021 fiscal year. That resulted in Calhoun County receiving $1.1 million in state payments through the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, with Battle Creek also receiving $508,080 and Emmett Township receiving $620,987 of the funds collected through the state’s 10%. Battle Creek also collects $5,000 application fees for any of the five licenses offered by the city, which must be renewed annually.

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