The city of Milwaukee is exploring the possibility of growing hemp at Century City. The north side business park has struggled to find tenants for years.
Currently, Century City only has one business tenant and a lot of vacant land. Alderman Khalif Rainey thinks it's time the city changes that by capitalizing on hemp's popularity,
"Understanding the emerging market that hemp presents and understanding Wisconsin's history within the hemp market, I want to make sure my constituents and the people at Century City and the city of Milwaukee have the opportunity to benefit from that wave," Rainey said.
Rainey's ideal location is a desolate Century City that was built with the hope of bringing thousands of manufacturing jobs to a poverty-stricken north side neighborhood. Ever since it was built, Milwaukee has struggled to find businesses to fill it.
"I think that connectivity to the freeway has been one of the issues that's been expressed and some of the hesitation as it relates to location, but those are all things that will be satisfied with just striking the oil once," he said.
Under Rainey's suggestion and unanimous approval by the common council, the city launched a study to find out whether it would be profitable to strike a deal with a private company to come in and grow hemp for CBD oil.
"There's clearly enough space, the ceilings are very high," said Connoils CEO Stacy Peterson.
Connoils, a local CBD processor, toured the location on Wednesday. Peterson likes the indoor opportunities despite all of the open land available at Century City.
"When you have customers as big as Connoils has and other customers have, you need that turn," she said. "So when you do an indoor grow facility, you can turn four to six times a year."
The city's feasibility study into growing hemp here at Century City is expected to be complete in 60 days.