Evart marijuana grow facility ready for harvest season

Lume has 28,000 plants in its indoor cultivation  

The Lume Cannabis Company cultivation facility in Evart continues to experience increasing yield from their 20,000 plants, providing product to as many as 25 marijuana dispensaries throughout Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Lume Cannabis Co.)

The Lume Cannabis Company cultivation facility in Evart continues to experience increasing yield from their 20,000 plants, providing product to as many as 25 marijuana dispensaries throughout Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Lume Cannabis Co.)

EVART — The fall harvest season in Michigan typically means apples, pumpkins and other gourds, and maybe some wild mushrooms, but the newest fall crop around the state is cannabis.

Since the legalization of marijuana, a total of 332 grower licenses have been issued in Michigan – 253 for medical marijuana and 79 for recreational, according to a report from the Grown In Cannabis Industry Newsletter.

Cannabis growers usually begin harvesting their crop in early to mid-October and some areas of the state are seeing a robust crop this season.

Attitude Wellness/Lume Cannabis Company, led by Douglas Hellyar, is one of the largest growers with five grow licenses, an indoor cultivation facility and a recently established outdoor grow farm.

“This is our first season growing outdoors so we haven’t started harvesting yet,” said Kevin Kuethe, Lume chief cultivation. “The plants do look great – very healthy and happy.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that this has been the best year for growing because of all the rain and the storms with high winds and hail – that can really effect your crop,” he added. “If you were in the right part of the state where you were able to dodge those storms, then I would say, yes, you probably have some lush harvests.”

Kuethe said at the Lume outdoor farm they endured a couple of serious storms with 70 mile an hour winds and tons of rain, but the field is prepared to recover quickly from such weather.

“Our field is prepared with drainage, and we do everything we can when we are getting our crop ready to mitigate any risk that the weather can produce,” he said. “We have approximately 20,500 plants outside. We will start harvesting in the next week or two and it will be about a three or four week process.

“Most of the crops and licenses in Michigan are for indoor facilities, which are probably improving yield as well,” he added.

He said that the indoor cultivation facility in Evart has around 28,000 plants, and the yield has been increasing steadily and there are two reasons for that – genetics and environment.

“Any cultivation center, when they are first starting out will always ‘dial in’ their systems – their genetics for growing and everything that is in the environment — to optimize those systems,” Kuethe said. “We have a facility that encompasses technology that is really state of the art around environmental controls and allows us to create more of an environment that is similar to outdoors. To be able to change those set points for temperature, humidity and air flow on a wide range helps to optimize the growth stages for cannabis.”

“Cannabis is an annual plant and is growing one life-cycle every year from spring to fall,” he continued. “It is not always the same temperature and humidity in the summer as it is in the fall, so having the variability and control in our rooms has really helped us maximize not only the quality of the product, but also the yield. We are almost doubling our yield with this new technology and that has been really beneficial for us.”


Kuethe said the company is constantly in growth mode, optimizing building design and trying to improve so that they are not only better at growing the product, but also being more efficient and environmentally conscious.

In addition to the recent expansion of the cultivation facility, Lume has purchased a 5 acre parcel in the Evart Industrial Park near the current facility for the purpose of expanding the processing center and relocating the dispensary.

“The plan is to move the dispensary to the new location,” Kuethe said. “The dispensary that we are operating in now on U.S. – 10 is just so small. It was not purpose built and we had to build to the confines of the walls that existed.

“This is such a popular location, and we really want to open it up especially since it is right here in the center of Michigan,” he continued. “It will be located right here at the heartbeat of the company which is the cultivation center. It is very exciting.”

Although they haven’t broken ground yet, Kuethe said that if everything sticks to schedule, they will hopefully be ready to open the new dispensary by May 2022. Once the new dispensary opens, the current retail location will be closed.

Lume provides around 350 local jobs for residents of Evart and the surrounding community. The addition of the new dispensary is expected to provide about three time more positions than at the current dispensary.

In addition to employment opportunities, the company provides substantial property tax dollars to the city along with marijuana sales tax dollars from the state each year.