New England Agriculture Technologies (NEAgTech) proposes to buy up to seven acres of land from Gray Raven Farm owners Dan and Sharon Bergeron. On it, NEAgTech would build up to 18 commercial greenhouses, surrounded by a solar array, in which to grow marijuana. The marijuana then would be sold to retailers.
Company officials say the facility will be shielded from public view and have around-the-clock electronic security.
Depending on the size of the facility, the operation could generate more than $100,000 in tax revenue for Lanesborough, according to NEAgTech.
“Eighteen greenhouses will generate a significant amount of money, a very good source of revenue for the town,” said Robert Wolf, a Massachusetts attorney and one of two principal partners in NEAgTech.
The other principal partner, Edward Whitaker, is CEO of Second Generation Energy in Milford and has 10 years experience developing solar power projects.
The two-page proposal Wolf submitted to the Select Board on Monday night outlines a scenario whereby one of the company’s marijuana growing facilities could earn $2.9 million annually, assuming 10 greenhouse each produce 290 pounds of pot valued at $1,000 per pound. Factor in a 3 percent local tax, and that could earn a municipality $156,600.
Accompanied by the Bergerons, Wolf made his initial pitch for support from Lanesborough’s three Selectmen, one taken aback by the project.
“I’m just overwhelmed here,” said Selectman Robert Ericson.
Located just north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Route 7, Gray Raven won’t be adding recreational pot to its agricultural offerings — for now.
“Sharon and I do not want a retail business selling cannabis, not at this time,” said Dan Bergeron.
Wolf told town officials his firm would be the landlord of the pot farm, leasing out the greenhouses to marijuana growers, group cooperatives and traditional agriculture producers. He said NEAgTech will immediately seek the necessary local permits and state license under the commonwealth’s new cannabis control regulations.