The East Coast could soon get a huge new cannabis growing facility. A marijuana company has plans to modify a greenhouse made for orchids so it can be used for weed. When the project is complete and the grow is up and running, it will be the largest cultivation site in the Eastern United States.
Acreage Holdings in New Jersey
A company called Matsui Nursery, Inc., used to run a massive 135,000 square foot greenhouse in Sewell, New Jersey. Inside, the San Francisco based company used to grow tons and tons of orchids. However, a couple of years ago, the company sold the greenhouse.
It stood empty until Acreage Holdings, a marijuana company based in New York, bought the property. Now, the company said it will convert the huge empty greenhouse into a highly controlled and super efficient marijuana greenhouse.
Acreage Holdings runs more than 10 other marijuana greenhouses. It also operates a number of dispensaries throughout the country. But its new Sewell location will be its largest grow site.
To complete this project, Acreage Holdings has teamed up with another marijuana company, Compassionate Care Foundation. This company runs a dispensary and has its own grow facility, located outside of Atlantic City.
Together, the companies plan to grow more than 35,000 cannabis plants at a time. They hope to get in early on New Jersey’s explosive legal marijuana market.
But before they can start growing weed, the companies will have to do some serious renovations. In particular, many of these alterations must be made to accommodate cannabis plants, which need a very different growing environment than orchids.
For example, cannabis requires much more light and more arid conditions than orchid plants. As a result, the companies will have to swap out materials in the roof of the greenhouse to let in more light. Similarly, they will install a new air ventilation system and swap out the irrigation system left behind from the orchids.
Repurposing the Greenhouse for Legalization
Additionally, the companies plan to use this greenhouse almost as if it were a lab. According to local news sources, they are going to install a number of sterilization features to keep bugs and diseases out.
They also plan to grow directly from seed, rather than using clones. From there, they want to test for quality and for certain attributes like THC or CBD content, terpene quality, and more. They can then hone in on the seeds they want to propagate further.
The move to convert the New Jersey orchid greenhouse comes as New Jersey’s legal marijuana scene is blowing up. Earlier this year, the state expanded its medical marijuana program. The changes made cannabis more accessible to a wider number of patients. It also opened the door to a number of new dispensaries and grow sites throughout the state.
Most recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the possibility of also legalizing recreational weed. For example, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said that he expects lawmakers to vote on a marijuana-related bill as early as September.