After months of wrangling, marijuana businessman David Kois’ vision of growing thousands of square feet of marijuana in Centralia is closer to becoming a reality.
The business will be built on an 8-acre property next to Greenwood Memorial Park in the 1900 block of Johnson Road.
Trees have been cut down and buildings have been leveled on the property.
Site review plans for CB Management LLC were approved on Monday.
Kois expects the first phases of construction of the 40,000-square-foot building to begin within the next couple of weeks. The building will house a 21,000-square-foot marijuana growing space, an area to process the marijuana and an industrial kitchen to create edibles.
Kois estimates construction of the facility will cost $2.5 million.
“We’re pushing to have the plants in by the end of July,” he said.
The actions come after about a year of wrangling with the city of Centralia and negotiations to finalize the property purchase.
Kois threatened to sue the city of Centralia at nearly every city council meeting from April to July of last year if the council wouldn’t change course on its pot moratorium. Although he never actually did sue, Kois personally delivered lawsuit papers to Centralia City Attorney Shannon Murphy-Olson when potential marijuana retailer Perry Nelson did.
Because Kois’ business will own the only property in town considered feasible for a marijuana retailer, he’ll ultimately have the final say over which of Centralia’s two top potential retailers will get to open up shop.
The store will be in a building of its own and likely stand on the same piece of land where former cemetery sexton John Baker’s house once stood. Baker’s house was torn down in February to make way for Kois’ operation. Kois has suggested he’ll rent the space to Nelson and his business partners of RIU420.
“I don’t really care if there’s a retailer there or not, honestly,” Kois said.
Kois possesses three Tier 3 marijuana production processing licenses, the largest of the three made available by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The board currently allows multi-license holders such as Kois to use just one, but many in the industry have speculated that law will change.
Should that be the case, Kois said he plans on building at least a second building of equal size directly behind the original.
Kois says he can make $200 million per year by “going after every aspect of market,” including edibles, oils and flowers, but he expects profits to be between $30 million and $60 million in the first year.
“I’m expecting a lot of little hiccups at first,” he said.
Kois used to restore European sports cars before he transitioned into the electric vehicle market. He said he became involved with medical marijuana after traditional treatments for his Crohn's disease failed.
He owns Loaded Soda, an Olympia-based business that makes and distributes marijuana-infused products to more than 400 medical marijuana dispensaries statewide.
Kois plans to transfer his entire Loaded Soda operation out of Olympia and into Centralia once the facility is complete. Kois speculates he will employ between 25 and 30 people during the company’s first year, but will likely employ close to 100 when it reaches its stride.
“It’s going to be run real lean and mean at first,” he said.
Naturally, Loaded Soda’s products contain THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, but Kois said he wants to focus on cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in marijuana that doesn’t create psychoactive effects but is believed by scientists to have broad range of medical applications. He says that at least 25 percent of his crop will be focused on CBD production.
“Which is huge in demand but isn’t out there,” he said.