Marijuana company buys Warwick land to build 450,000-square-foot production plant – Times Herald-Record

WARWICK — A Chicago-based marijuana company bought 38 acres of former prison grounds for $3.3 million and is set to begin preparing the vacant site for a 450,000-square-foot building where it plans to grow and process weed.

The future Green Thumb Industries plant in Warwick will be one of at least three cannabis-making businesses in Orange as companies race to tap the state’s newly legalized recreational pot market. PharmaCann already makes medical marijuana in Hamptonburgh and plans to expand, and Citiva Medical has partly built a greenhouse and processing facility next to where Green Thumb Industries will build in Warwick.

Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, left, shows Orange County Director of Economic Development Bill Fioravanti the land purchased by Green Thumb Industries along John Hicks Drive in Warwick in this April 8, 2021 file photo.

Green Thumb hopes to finish its first construction phase in one year and initially employ almost 100 people, according to its application to the Orange County Industrial Development Agency for tax breaks. It predicted 179 workers in all by the third year, most of them production employees earning $50,000 to $57,000 a year.

Tax breaks: Orange County IDA approves benefits for Green Thumb Industries

Ulster plans: Pot company eyes former knife factory site near Ellenville

Prison to pot hub: Transformed Mid-Orange property includes cannabis cluster

The $155 million project has moved briskly since the company applied for the incentives in mid-January. The IDA approved $28 million in tax reductions on March 30, Green Thumb bought the property on July 26 and now has a town permit to begin site work. No planning board review was needed because the site was pre-cleared for development.

Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton said Thursday that the company plans to build 200,000 square feet in the first of its three phases, with 58,000 square feet dedicated to growing marijuana and the rest for processing, offices and storage.

Land purchased by Green Thumb Industries along John Hicks Drive in Warwick on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

A marijuana business hub

Most of the land Green Thumb bought was owned by the Warwick Valley Local Development Corporation, the town entity that bought and parceled off former prison grounds after the state closed Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in 2011. The Green Thumb facility will be part of a cluster of cannabis businesses on the campus, known as the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park.

According to its website, Green Thumb began in 2014 and now has 16 manufacturing sites and licenses for 111 stores in 14 states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The company is publicly traded and boasts a total workforce of more than 2,300.

A Green Thumb spokeswoman didn’t respond to questions on Thursday about the Warwick plans.

Green Thumb is one of 10 companies licensed to make and sell medical marijuana in New York. The state legalized recreational use for adults 21 and older earlier this year and has yet to award commercial licenses for that new market. But companies are rushing to capitalize on what is expected to be a huge industry.

Last week, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and local officials announced that Cresco Labs – another Chicago-based marijuana company – plans to build a growing-and-processing facility of at least 360,000 square feet at the cleared site of the former Imperial Schrade knife factory in Wawarsing. Ryan said the Cresco plant was expected to employ 300 to 400 people when fully operational.

Green Thumb obtained its New York license by buying Fiorello Pharmaceuticals for $60 million in 2019. Fiorello, which had gotten its license in 2017, had a manufacturing site in Schenectady County and retail dispensaries in three other counties.

Green Thumb needed the state Department of Health’s approval to move its manufacturing to Orange County from Schenectady. Sweeton said Thursday that the company got that approval about a month before buying the Warwick property.

Green Thumb advertises a wide range of marijuana-based products on its website, including vaping cartridges, pre-rolled joints called Dogwalkers, and skin-care products and lotions made with CBD or THC, both marijuana ingredients. They also have a pot-infused line of candy called Incredibles, which includes chocolate bars and gummies.

You May Also Like

About the Author: SteveSossin

Welcome! I keep up on all the latest cbd and thc news!