LAWRENCE, Mich. (WOOD) — A big investment has helped build a massive state-of-the-art facility in Lawrence that will house one of the largest artificial light marijuana grow operations in the state.

A lot of green — $16 million from private equity firm Verleur Group — was invested into 305 Farms’ massive growth facility, with its greens expected to produce up to five harvests per year once it opens.

But why a village in Van Buren County instead of Grand Rapids or metro Detroit? 305 Farms Vice President of Business Development Mitchell Maltz said Lawrence has easy access to I-94 and offered everything the operation needed.

“(Oakland County or the Detroit Metropolitan area) weren’t going to give us enough power and we wouldn’t have enough water, and those are two big ingredients that we need to have a big, staffed facility,” Maltz said.

That is despite the state-of-the-art, energy efficient facility using LED lighting and recycling 95% of its water supply.

The next need: more workers.

“We’re creating an incredible amount of jobs. We’ve already hired 50 people here… in the local area. We plan on hiring up to 200, possibly more, employees… We are looking for talent in the general vicinity of Lawrence,” Maltz said.

Crews have been busy putting the finishing touches on the first phase of the massive 40-acre project ahead of the facility’s grand opening Tuesday. Once construction is complete, up to 80,000 plants will be grown all under one roof, with 40 class-C cultivation licenses and two cannabis processing licenses.

“Lawrence was an opportunity for us because of the amount of space we were able to cultivate in… We were able to build a big, large facility on one site, which was our main goal here in Michigan,” Maltz said.

The farm will break ground next month for the other two phases, but those won’t be completed until late 2023.