A Colorado company is preparing to build the largest marijuana greenhouse in Massachusetts, a sprawling, high-tech complex that could eventually expand to nearly 1 million square feet.
According to a story in the Boston Globe, Denver-based AmeriCann Inc. completed a deal in early October to lease a 53-acre parcel for the project near Route 24 in Freetown, where officials have welcomed the company’s proposed Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center as a potential economic boon.
The facility, to be built in phases over several years, is designed to bolster the state’s struggling medical marijuana program. But if voters in Massachusetts decide on Nov. 8 to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use by adults, AmeriCann expects to accelerate construction and would likely rent some of its cultivation space to a retailer of recreational cannabis.
“Adult-use changes the timeline of the project,” AmeriCann chief executive Tim Keogh says. “It’s definitely part of the conversation with investors now, more so than it had been 12 or 24 months ago.”
AmeriCann is raising funds for construction and hopes to break ground in about three months on the project’s first phase, a $20 million, 160,000-square-foot greenhouse the company says would more than double the state’s cannabis-growing capacity. Construction would last about nine months.
The Freetown greenhouse, Keogh says, will be more efficient than other growing facilities, using solar panels, roof slats that open to let in sunlight, and other features to minimize utility costs.
“Our utility consumption is 60% less than a typical indoor warehouse, which is a tremendous benefit in terms of driving down the cost of production and the carbon footprint of the cannabis industry,” Keogh says.
The complex will also feature a computerized horticultural system to automatically control air temperature and light levels, plus a compartmentalized layout to help stop pests, blight, and unwanted pollination.