The sprawling copper mine that stretches deep below White Pine once employed thousands of people, helping make the remote Michigan town a thriving outpost of the state’s northern hinterland.
Prices for the metal eventually started to sink, however, and in 1996 the facility shut down, leaving White Pine a virtual ghost town. Suburban bungalows built to house copper miners and their families sell today to vacationers for as little as $10,000.
Now, though, a Canadian company is promoting an unorthodox form of salvation for the area, floating a plan to grow marijuana inside the cavernous mine to serve the state’s legion of 180,000 licensed pot users. Like a similar subterranean operation that Prairie Plant Systems (PPS) owns in Manitoba, the Michigan site would offer security from theft, natural climate control and little chance of contamination, its supporters argue.
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