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Cannabis Production Facility Opening on New York Former Federal Prison Site

It's not quite full circle for the industry yet, but it's getting close.

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This story originally appeared on Benzinga

One of the nation’s leading cannabis operators, Green Thumb Industries Inc., will be building a modern cannabis campus on the site of a former federal prison in Warwick, New York.

The Mid-Orange Correctional Facility was once a federal prison that held men convicted of drug offenses and other crimes. The facility was targeted for closure in 2011 as part of former Governor Andrew Cuomo's prison closing program.

The new project aims to revitalize the community and generate hundreds of jobs.

'Great American growth story'

On September 9 the company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in Warwick that was attended by local and regional authorities including a business leader in the cannabis industry, Ben Kovler, founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries.

“Breaking ground on Green Thumb's newest Warwick facility is a tremendous milestone for us. Today is an example of the next great American growth story in action. This site used to be a federal prison that incarcerated individuals targeted by cannabis prohibition. Now it will become an economic hub that manufactures high-quality cannabis products, creates hundreds of new jobs, and contributes positively to the local community,” Kovler said.

“We thank the city of Warwick for supporting our vision in creating a more accessible and equitable industry as we create jobs in the community. There is a lot of work to do as we all prepare for the coming tidal wave of consumer demand in the great state of New York.“  However, local authorities intend to opt-out of the new state law that permits marijuana consumption sites such as lounges or bars, reported the Warwick Advertiser.

RELATED: From Prison to Prosperity: CEO Gets A Second Chance in the Cannabusiness

Why Warwick went for weed

The town scheduled a public hearing on dispensary and consumption site-local laws. For the sake of public safety, town supervisor Sweeton said Warton wanted to avoid the sale of possibly adulterated marijuana. 

In July, UrbanXtracts opened a hemp processing and development center in a state-of-the-art 18,000-square-foot facility located within the business park built on the former grounds of the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility.

The Orange County Industrial Development Agency approved local financial incentives for Green Thumb to build the cultivation and manufacturing facility, including sales tax exemption, mortgage recording tax exemption, a 15-year property tax abatement and the issuance of taxable revenue bonds.