White Creek Plant May Find Future As Washington County’s First Marijuana Growing Facility

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WHITE CREEK, NY (NEWS10) – In the town of White Creek in southern Washington County, a disused factory may be in line for a new, newly legal use line.

Businessman Tim Lorito appeared before the Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency with a pitch, now approved for a public hearing, leaving it to residents to determine whether the former Morcon Tissue facility at the 879, route 22, will be the future site of a cultivation and processing facility. for the production of recreational cannabis.

White Creek Supervisor James Griffith is hoping the public will say yes.

“It’s not really the expansion of marijuana,” Griffith said on a phone call Monday. “It’s the expansion of agriculture and agritourism.

The facility would create at least 25 jobs with a base salary of $ 35,000 / year, between growing marijuana flowers and extracting oils that would then be sold to companies that make other forms of recreational cannabis. , such as edibles.

This would leave a big impact in the community of approximately 2,500 residents, between Cambridge and Hoosick Falls. Griffith is particularly interested in the impact a factory like this could have on students in the area who wish to enter the workforce or a commercial profession after graduating from high school.

“They are going to stay in the area, and we want to have jobs for them so that they can have sustainable lives,” he said.

He is also interested in working with existing horticultural programs at WSWHE BOCES to bridge this gap.

The project is a $ 5 million venture, and Lorito is reviewing mortgage tax and payment in lieu of tax options with the IDA.

The White Creek location would be the second cannabis business for Lorito, which currently operates a 10,000 square foot building in Oregon. The Morcon building provides plenty of space for the new plan, which includes the use of a 14,000 square foot building for growth and another 6,000 for processing.

Anything produced by the new facility is expected to be sold by licensed vendors in New York City, under part of state law established when recreational marijuana was legalized in the state in the spring. .

These dispensary licenses have yet to be distributed, but when this part of the process begins, these companies and farms will build relationships on their own, keeping the money in the state’s financial ecosystems.

“So you can’t sell in Massachusetts, you can’t sell in Vermont, you can’t sell in New Jersey. “

New York will begin accepting increasing demands in January. As long as the community approves the new business, Lorito will just have to apply and wait.

As for the public vote – which has no date, but which Griffith says is set to take place in the next few weeks – public opinion is something the supervisor feels good about.

“I know some people are completely against marijuana, but the reality is that in New York City, it’s legal,” Griffith said. “They’re going to set metrics on growth, culture, and retail, and at the end of the day what’s good are jobs.”

Meanwhile, Griffith is also the managing director of the Aviation Mall in Queensbury, and said federal law would not allow him to invite a marijuana dispensary to operate in the mall at this time.

But, things can always change.

“There is a home bill that Chuck Schumer introduced just two weeks ago to allow less restrictive banking operations for businesses working with the marijuana industries,” he explained.

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