Massachusetts Set To Get A Million Square Feet Of Marijuana

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

A million-square-foot marijuana growing facility is set for construction in a small Massachusetts town to serve the burgeoning medical pot industry.

The marijuana cultivation compound will sit on 53 acres of land in Freetown, a small community in Bristol County where Samuel Adams previously held a brewery. Residents of the community previously approved the land for growing medical marijuana in 2012.

Boston Beer Company, the makers of Samuel Adams, sold the land to AmeriCann, a Denver based company, for $4,475,000 in the fall. The facility will be one of the largest in the U.S. with state-of-the-art cultivation technology and feature space for growing, processing and research and development of marijuana, reports Mass Live.

Demand for marijuana has been growing since Massachusetts legalized medical use in 2012. Voters in the state passed a ballot legalizing recreational marijuana use on Election Day, which is likely to further demand for greater cultivation in the state.

It is unclear what role the million-square-foot facility dubbed the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center may potentially play in a commercial pot market and lawmakers recently delayed the legality of selling recreational marijuana until at least mid-2018.

Construction is slated to begin in March and the company expects aspects of the facility to be open by the fall. Coastal Compassion Inc., a non-profit, is the first organization lined up for space at the facility. AmeriCann, which owns the property, is a publicly traded company and does not engage in growing or processing marijuana for any use.

Initial construction will focus on a 130,000 square-foot growing space and a 30,000 square-foot facility for research and development. This will include manufacturing various products infused with marijuana as well as studying various uses of the substance. The million-square-foot facility for growing is currently in the design stage.

During an informal session of the state’s congress Dec. 28, legislators moved to push the opening of commercial marijuana stores from Jan. 2018 into July 2018.

The unprecedented move contradicts rules in the popular ballot that passed Election Day legalizing the drug, specifying state officials had until Jan. 1, 2018 to establish a regulatory structure for pot shops. The decision by lawmakers will leave Massachusetts marijuana law in limbo for the next 18 month.

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