HumbleBee and Green Koi Collaborate for a New Dispensary in Three Oaks

October 26th, 2023 Business & Industry
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Update from HumbleBee: "This is misleading. We were looking at potentially leasing a building from Green Koi but that's it. Definitely not a "joint venture"."

In a recent Village Council meeting on October 11th, discussions revolved around the potential establishment of a new licensed marijuana retail location within the Village of Three Oaks. The meeting shed light on the proposed venue, impending partnerships, and the necessary regulatory steps.

Ethan Del Stone, co-founder of Green Koi LLC, informed the council of HumbleBee's plan to establish a marijuana dispensary at 6934 West U.S. 12. Del Stone projected the opening of the dispensary by the end of December and highlighted the involvement of HumbleBee's construction team in the project.

Derek Norman, the founder of HumbleBee, who has another dispensary located between Gaylord and Grayling, Michigan, mentioned his company's plan about this new addition. He commented, "After being among the initial 20 to receive licenses in Michigan, we've been considering a second, more centrally located venue downstate. The facility at 6934 West U.S. 12 seems suitable, although it requires certain updates and exterior work."

The collaboration between Green Koi and HumbleBee will be based on a landlord-tenant relationship. "To begin with, Green Koi LLC plans to lease the property to HumbleBee, aiming to position it as a prominent HumbleBee dispensary in Michigan," Del Stone confirmed. He further indicated the potential for a deeper business relationship between the two entities in the future, with the primary objective being the operational readiness of the Three Oaks branch.

Highlighting the regulatory aspects, Village Council trustee, Tyler Ream, noted that any new company intending to operate in the Village of Three Oaks would need to secure a special land use permit from the Planning Commission. Once obtained, they can subsequently apply for a cannabis license from the Village. Responding to this, Del Stone assured, "We are prepared for that process."

Ream expressed concerns about Green Koi's prior license, which was granted two years ago, and the subsequent lack of activity. Del Stone responded, clarifying that the immediate plan is to lease the property to HumbleBee.

It was eventually agreed upon by Ream and Del Stone that HumbleBee would go through the regular application process set by the village.

A look back to October 27th, 2021, recalls the Village Council's decision to grant one of the two available retail marijuana licenses to Green Koi for the property at 6934 West U.S. 12. The second license was awarded to Harbor Country Cannabis, which commenced operations at 6761 U.S. 12. Additionally, Green Oaks Cultivation, LLC, has been granted permission to set up a "Marihuana Micro-Business" at 300 East Ash St., which remains to be opened.

Addressing Green Koi's delay in commencing operations at the Three Oaks site, Del Stone mentioned the challenges that can arise from an oversaturation of dispensaries in a single community. He introduced HumbleBee's strategic approach of not offering its products to any dispensary within a 50-mile radius of the Three Oaks location, aiming to distinguish the venue in the Michigan marijuana market.

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