Applicants make their cases for medical marijuana facilities in Benton Harbor

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) - Applicants hoping to open medical marijuana provisioning centers made their case before the Benton Harbor City Commission Wednesday.

A maximum of four facilities could open in Benton Harbor, but seven or eight companies are vying for spots, so the competition is on.

Commissioners scored applicants on a number of things, like if they have ties to the area, how they plan to help grow the local economy and how they will give back. The higher the scores, the better shot these companies have.

For some, opening a facility is a way of giving back.

"I was an athlete my entire life. I grew up playing lacrosse with my little brother. I had about 12 concussions overall throughout my career of high school and college lacrosse," said Hunter Mishler with Redbud Roots.

It was medical marijuana that helped save Mishler's life.

"After I was given my life back by this plant, my goal was to learn as much as I possibly could and try to help other people -- be it the neighbor down the street who has arthritis and can't garden anymore or the single mom who feels anxiety, just everything in between," Mishler said.

Redbud Roots currently has a facility in Buchanan, Michigan, but wants to expand services in Benton Harbor. They vow to create 12 jobs and claim they will offer premium medicine at an affordable price.

Another company District Harbor said it is proactive, sensitive and puts customers' needs first.

"We hope to provide the city with a framework, and answering their questions, or how this company can be a great partner and neighbor to the city of Benton Harbor," said Eric Foster, who represents the company.

Commissioners will let applicants know their scores at a later date.