NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – There are still nine days left to submit an application in Ohio to grow medical marijuana. In Pennsylvania, New Castle has already been picked as a location to grow and process it.
New Castle Mayor Tony Mastrangelo is excited about the city being selected. It was one of 12 chosen out of 177 applications.
The industry could help save New Castle, which is under the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47) to address its financial crisis. The Act 47 recovery plan has the city raising taxes next year otherwise.
“One hundred to 150 jobs. That is huge for us,” Mastrangelo said.
Holistic Farms will be using a building on Industrial Street for the grow operation. The company has six months to get it ready for a state inspection before it’s allowed to start growing.
“The facility itself is going to be a very secured facility. It is an all brick facility. All windows are going to be bricked in. That’s for safety purposes as well as lighting for growing marijuana plants,” said Jason Medura, New Castle solicitor.
New Castle met with Holistic Farms in January to talk about its application. The city has a drug problem and has been fighting back. Mastrangelo talked with everyone involved in the war on drugs to make sure a grow operation wouldn’t stop the fight.
“They were convinced this will help the city. This will help this program and they don’t see any problems with it, which I was very pleased with,” Mastrangelo said.
A check of other reports of grow operations through WKBN’s sister stations in the Nexstar Media Group revealed that security is very tight. Most facilities have extra security features such as double doors.
Mastrangelo hopes a fence around the grow operation in New Castle may even have barbed wire to keep everyone out.
Closer to home, leaders in Youngstown and Warren have already approved the idea of a grow operation setting up shop. In Warren, Patient Relief of Ohio would build a marijuana farm on what is now the vacant land of an industrial park at the corner of North River Road and Sferra Avenue. In Youngstown, Mayor John McNally said the city has heard from five groups interested in applying to build.