GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A new business is taking shape on the south side of Grand Rapids — a cannabis testing facility to make sure products are safe before being sold in Michigan stores.
Hummingbird Labs will be the first African-American-owned cannabis testing lab in Michigan.
While the building on the corner of Albany and Division Avenue Southeast sits empty now, two West Michigan natives have bigger things in store for the space.
Co-founders Glen Clanton and Dr. Paul King say there are only four labs open in West Michigan.
"There are more than 200 grow and/or process facilities located in Western Michigan, so we think there's a marketplace for us," Clanton says. "Our mission is to ensure the safety and quality of cannabis products."
Both medicinal and recreational products sold in dispensaries need to go through a lab to check for compliance.
Dr. King says that opening up shop in this part of town is special to him.
"I grew up in in 49507 zip code, right we're at, where our building is a few blocks, it used to be a park," he says.
The facility will need about 10 team members to start out.
"There's opportunities for all levels of employment, you know, at that facility, from people that clean the facility, to the people that come in and do highly skilled technical jobs, and those in between, who people who can help in administrative roles, people who can who can help in secretarial roles," Dr. King says.
They hope that's just the beginning.
"The fact that a majority of the growers and processes are located in Western Michigan makes it an ideal ground not only for providing services, but also for us giving back to the community that has, I guess, suffered the consequences of the war on drugs," Clanton says.
They hope to get started on construction soon and open up by the end of the year. They expect to be fully operational by this time next year, once their lab gets final approval from the state.
Ahead of their opening, the team has a crowdfunding campaign.
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