By Pat Maurer
After a theft of 30 marijuana plants from his “outdoor grow facility” in Frost Township, owner Clint Shears is offering a reward of free medical marijuana to any medical marijuana cardholder with information leading to an arrest and conviction for his or any other Frost Township break-ins in the last six months. He said he will designate about $60,000 of processed medical marijuana from next year’s crop towards the reward he is offering.
“Anyone who is a card holder and has information leading to an arrest and conviction…I have no problem hooking you up with one pound of high grade medical marijuana of a strain of your choice from the 2014 outdoor grow right out of the ‘piney woods’,” Shears said.
In late 2012 several amendments to the Medical Marijuana Act were passed by the State Legislature, including one requiring that “outdoor cannabis plants must not be “visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure” and must be “grown within a stationary structure that is enclosed on all sides, except the base, by chain-link fencing, wooden slats, or a similar material that prevents access by the general public and that is anchored, attached or affixed to the ground, located on land that is owned, leased, or rented” by the registered grower and restricted to that grower’s access.”
A Frost Township Ordinance follows the State’s guidelines for growing marijuana, both indoors and out. Shears noted that the Legislature defined an outdoor facility in April.
Shears, a caregiver from Lansing, developed an outdoor facility on his secluded property in Frost Township last spring, after notifying Frost Township Police Chief William Coon, zoning officers and government officials and obtaining the necessary permits. “I told him (Coon) how I really dig being a caregiver because it gives a lot back to the community,” Shear said.
Around August 20, with 55 plants growing at the new facility, Shears said he was “ripped off,” with 30 immature plants, or about 7.5 pounds stolen and most of the remaining plants destroyed. “The total take if all the plants had come out (and yielded) to four ounces each would have been just over 12 pounds when harvested,” he said, “roughly a $55,000 hit including $5,000 to $6,000 he had invested and over $1,000 in gas.”
Chief Coon said the theft was reported when Shears discovered it on August 27. The thieves apparently went over a 12 foot wall to get to the marijuana. He said 30 plants were taken and 1- to 15 were damaged. “He lost about two-thirds of his crop before it was mature,” he said. Coon added that he monitors the facility on a regular basis.
The investigation is still ongoing, Coon said.
Shear said Chief Coon has been putting in a lot of additional time due to the number of break-ins in Frost Township and he thinks by offering a reward he may be able help to catch the suspects with the communities help.
He said there is a new law in the legislature which should be approved in November, after review by the House. The new law lists cultivation and distribution.
Shear said he is planning under the new rules to put in 72 plants next spring for the 2014 harvest. He said he expects to harvest about one pound per plant. Twelve of those plants will be reserved as the reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspects committing the break-ins.
He said of the estimated $200 he receives per ounce, or estimated $230,000 for the entire harvest, he will set aside $60,000 for the reward. Of the remainder he will pay State and Federal taxes totaling $70,807 according to his accountant. “I am involved in three businesses … and can easily make more from any of the three businesses than from medical marijuana. I’m in it because someone has to do it and I like helping people.”
“I will be able to harvest 2.5 ounces every ten days when those plants mature, so I will be able to hook up a card holder with one-half pound of marijuana a month.” He said most people don’t realize that only the mature buds are used to process medical marijuana and the leaves and stems then are destroyed. With the new legislation, he said, “I will be a provision center, but not brick and mortar, more on the cultivation end of medical marijuana with a state-wide delivery service grown and based out of piney woods.”
He added that if he doesn’t help get 12 convictions in Frost Township by summer he will also look into taking care of the people of Leota where his parents live. “If anyone has any issues with B&Es in Leota, they can drop Gail or Linda Shears a line. If I have a good amount of marijuana still left as we get into summer, I can probably help out with crime over that way.”
Of the 72 plants he is planning to raise, he said he won’t be processing it all at once. “I’m only allowed 15 ounces of usable medical marijuana (called the Michigan pound). As orders come in from patients I take off the plant what is needed for usable medical marijuana under the law. Eighty to ninety percent of the plant is worthless to medical marijuana users,” he added.
Shears said, “I just made my own CIP Task Force.” He urged anyone with information about the break-ins in Frost Township to contact their local police and if the information leads to an arrest or conviction to contact him through his email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 517-990-9163. “Please don’t call me until you have a conviction. Then I will take care of you in 2014, no questions asked.” he said.