Grow, Gift, Repair

Huge grow looking to come to Charlton

The Board of Selectmen, which previously voted to approve a host agreement with North Andover-based Valley Green Grow but has not signed a contract, said it will discuss rescinding its vote during its next meeting on June 19.

The $100 million facility is planned for 94-acres at 44 Old Worcester Road – currently Charlton Orchards, whose owners plan to retire. Valley Green Grow hopes to build an 800,000 to 1.5 million-square-foot greenhouse there to grow cannabis for medical and recreational use, as well as a sales and research center.

Charlton’s Board of Selectmen verbally approved a host agreement with the not-for-profit on May 15, which includes a 1-to-3-million-square-foot greenhouse and 500,000 square feet of additional buildings. The development is expected to generate about $2 million in revenue for the town, in addition to property taxes.

But some were not happy with the selectmen’s vote, saying the host agreement was negotiated in secret and residents were not given ample opportunity to weigh in.

John McGrath, chairman of the Board of Selectman, acknowledged that the process was flawed, but noted that no contract has been signed yet.

“I did say that we flubbed this,” he said. “I don’t know what anybody else wants us to say about it.”

During McGrath’s response, a member of the audience yelled out, “You screwed us,” which was met with loud applause.