With an increasing number of people purchasing items online, many large retailers are struggling closing locations. So what are people supposed to do with these giant stores left empty? Grow marijuana!
Copper Country Mall near Houghton, Michigan announced that a medical marijuana grow operation will replace a JC Penney that recently closed at their location. A company called Portage Caregiver Center came to the city last fall looking for locations to open up a grow operation and dispensary. After the JC Penney closed last spring, Portage went to the mall and said that the location would be perfect for their business. So now a marijuana business will be open alongside the mall's cinema and laser tag.
Marijuana businesses are very interested in moving into locations at malls, which is probably not surprising. There's already customers there and it's a good way to attract new customers who run into their dispensary while looking for other shops. But there's a lot of resistance from the real estate industry. Most mall operators are extremely hesitant to allow marijuana businesses to operate on their premises, and one mall in Pennsylvania is actually suing a grow operation to prevent it from using their space.
But Copper County Mall may not have many other options. According to MLive, the mall's undergone major financial hardships since the early 2000's when a Kmart on their premises closed down. And now with another major retailer going under in JC Penney, the mall needs a way to fill these businesses.
It will be interesting to see how successful the Copper County Mall marijuana business will be. Hopefully there's a Cinnabon there so people can also find a fix for their munchies before they head home.