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Marijuana business continues to grow

JOHNSTOWN — Vireo Health of New York — the medical marijuana facility that serves as the Tryon Technology Park’s anchor tenant — is expanding from two greenhouses to eight greenhouses.

The Fulton County Industrial Development Agency — park owners — discussed Vireo’s future expansion Tuesday at its board meeting at the Fort Johnstown Annex.

IDA Executive Director James Mraz said Wednesday the expansion by Vireo was expected.

“That’s their multi-phase plan,” he said.

Mraz said that when Vireo originally came to the town of Perth, it wanted to occupy about 200,000 square feet of space, but that was revised upwards to roughly 260,000 square feet.

“It’s still more than they originally planned,” he said.

Opened in 2016 at the town of Perth-based park, Vireo Health of NY is a company dedicated to providing cannabis-based medications and top quality patient care. The company provides pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products formulated from marijuana plants and utilizes its separation chemistry capabilities to create products with cannabinoid combinations. Vireo provides legal medical marijuana, mainly in the form of vapor and capsules.

According to the IDA, Vireo occupies its original 20,000-square-foot building on its site, as well as two 20,000-square-foot greenhouses that Vireo constructed.

But the company submitted an amended site plan to the IDA and the Perth Town Planning Board to amend the site plan for expansion. The firm plans to add eight, 20,000-square-foot greenhouses, as well as a 30,000-square-foot processing center.

Vireo Health’s building area would increase by about 65,000 square feet — from 202,209 square feet to 267,095 square feet. The pavement area would increase by about 30,800 square feet. The green space area of Vireo would be drastically reduced by about 279,000 scare feet, from 776,670 square feet to 497,331 square feet. A total of 31 parking spaces would be added to the 33-spot space.

The IDA board on Tuesday voted to reopen the state Environmental Quality Review process because of the scope of the project. The IDA says that given the increase in the amount of new building space proposed to be constructed — over and above what was identified in the original Environmental Assessment Form submitted –the IDA board must reopen SEQR.

The board this week also declares itself lead agency for Vireo’s new SEQR process.

In 2015, the IDA first served as lead agency for a SEQR review of the original Vireo Health project at Tryon. Vireo was known as Empire State Health Solutions at that time.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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