Crews are prepared to break ground on a medical marijuana growing and processing facility in Erie.
One company based in Erie was awarded a permit to begin growing medicinal marijuana. They plan to break ground as soon as this Friday.
The Wolf Administration issued grower-processor permits to 13 entities for Phase II of the Medical Marijuana Program.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, says, “This is going to expand the availability of this very important medicine and really allow this medicine to be available to patients throughout Pennsylvania.”
One of the permits goes to Calypso LLC of Erie. The facility is set to be built on former Hammermill Paper Company property on Erie’s east side, specifically near the corner of East 10th and Downing Avenue.
The facility is projected to be more than 52,000 square feet. Company President Samuel Black says the permit is a huge win for the city of Erie. “It’s important, number one, for the county because of the job levels. We’ll be adding roughly 60 people including the 120 that we have now.”
While the initial construction pertains to the development of an already large facility, executives say they’re planning ahead for the potential of expansion. Black says, “It depends on how it grows in Pennsylvania. That’s going to require you know adding space, adding additional growing space.”
Officials say there’s enough space in this open land to expand if there’s enough demand. So far, at least 52,000 patients have registered to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program; a treatment option for at least 21 serious medical conditions, ranging from epilepsy to even cancer.
The Department of Health has set a timeline of six months for all Phase II permittees to become operational. Black says they’re prepared to meet that deadline and they’re eager to get started.