EVART -- Lume Cannibus Company announced the expansion of its cultivation center in Evart in a news release on Friday, Aug.7.

The state-of-the-art grow facility, Evart Industrial Properties, LLC., located in the Evart Industrial Park, plans to expand from its current 50,000 square foot facility to 450,000 square feet, over the next four years, the news release said.

The four-phased expansion is expected to create more than 500 additional jobs, with each phase projected to create 130 new jobs.

"We made a significant investment into our state-of-the-art cultivation facility, which includes the nation's most advanced and efficient flower technology," said Doug Hellyar, president and CEO of Lume. "Thanks to our first-of-its-kind facility, and out highly skilled and trained cultivation team, we are able to produce safe and high-quality cannabis products for our patients and customers."

The first expansion, scheduled to begin this month will add an additional 85,000 square feet and will allow Lume to increase production capacity by 150 percent, the news release said.

According to Evart city manager Sarah Dvoracek, Evart Industrial Properties, LLC., approached the city of Evart requesting annexation of property owned by the company that is in the jurisdiction of Evart Township for the purpose of the expansion.

Evart city officials and Evart Township officials have since been in discussions regarding the possible annexation of the property by the city.

At an Evart Township meeting in June, Kevin Kuethe, Vice President of Operations for Lume Cannabis Company, told the Evart Township Board that it was necessary for them to get the annexation of the property approved by both the city and the township in order for them to move forward with the expansion.

It would be a continuation of the existing building, so it couldn't be in both the city and the township at the same time, he said.

"Not getting the annexation completely changes the ability for us to expand in the capacity that we want to and in the appropriate and efficient way." Kuethe said. "We looked at getting around it several times and it just doesn't work because (our current space) is such an awkward shaped property. To angle a building on there just was not working."

Dvoracek recently sent a proposal for the annexation to the Evart Township Board in which the city offered the township the option of either the mutual resolution agreement or the Act 425 agreement, which would transfer the property jurisdiction to the city and would include a provision allowing the township a share of any unrestricted cash revenues annually for five years.

Evart Township Supervisor, Doug Derscheid said that without more specific information regarding the terms of the agreement, the board could not make a decision on the annexation.

The board of trustees agreed to appoint two board members to meet with city officials to negotiate the details of an annexation agreement.