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Georgetown may soon be home to a new cannabis industrial complex, complete with cannabis cultivation and research labs and a solar farm to help power it all.
Charles Jenkins of Future Energy Solutions and representatives from King Green Industries met with the Georgetown Board of Selectmen Monday night to discuss plans for Synergy Cannabis Industrial Park on National Avenue in Georgetowns cannabis district.
“What were proposing here is a mixed-use, multi-faceted project which will include a cannabis testing lab, cannabis cultivation, a cannabis research center, and were also going to do manufacturing,” Jenkins said. “What makes this even more unique is that were all also integrating some development of software programs to do the seed-to-sale tracking, which ties in with the testing lab.”
In addition, the proposal calls for a solar energy production farm on the site, utilizing both solar power and battery storage, bringing cannabis and renewable energy together a green synergy, so to speak.
Going green with solar energy not only benefits the town it also serves a practical advantage for cannabis companies.
“There are special dispensations in the regulatory language that you have the ability to use more lighting per square foot, thereby you have a more efficient operation,” Jenkins said.
Another benefit of battery storage (which has seen technological advancement in recent years) is that it smooths out periods of little-to-no sun.
“You need a constant source, so incorporating the battery technology makes a big difference on that effect,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins added that with the different types of applications on the property, there will be a lot of economic growth and job creation in Georgetown Jenkins estimates potential for hundreds of jobs ranging from those requiring a PhD to entry-level labor.
Jenkins said the complex would be gated and would not call for any retail sales. Each facility within the complex would have its own security, and the overall complex would have a security system encompassing those facilities.
Jenkins said he hopes the project will be ready for approval by Town Meeting in May, but if not, it can be ready by Fall Town Meeting.
Selectman Doug Dawes, who has worked closely with cannabis companies through their approval processes, was impressed with the Synergy/King Green project.
“You dont see projects like this. Theyre usually just a single entity,” Dawes said. “And to have the diversification of a testing lab, which is a higher-end employment; research lab, which is higher-end employment, and any soil management people you might have, these are all higher-end jobs. And this is really a multi-faceted proposal that youre making, which could be really good.”
A similar multi-faceted cultivation and research complex was proposed for the former Lucent Technologies plant in North Andover, but that town rejected all cannabis businesses at a special Town Meeting right after that idea was proposed.
Synergy is the most recent in a long line of cannabis companies up to about half a dozen now moving through approval process in Georgetown. The only retail business so far is Mission Dispensary (formerly Healthy Pharms), and that business is still waiting on final approval from the states Cannabis Control Commission to start recreational adult use sales.