MRCC

Grow, Gift, Transform

#MUNICIPAL #GUIDANCE: Sheffield

BCWC, soon to be known as Nova Farms, announced it received final approval from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission last week to grow marijuana plants outdoors at a farm in Sheffield.

The company, which plans to open dispensaries in Framingham and Attleboro, said it may be the first business on the East Coast to grow pot outdoors, offering an alternative to indoor grow houses that use hydroponics and artificial lighting.

“Utilizing the natural sun is the best way to grow cannabis,” co-owner Blair Fish said.

Like tomatoes or any other crop, cannabis plants benefit from the full spectrum of sunlight and nutrients in the soil, Fish said. Utilizing sunlight will also cut down on electricity costs, helping reduce the carbon footprint of the company’s cultivation process, he said.

“I think that the way that Mother Nature intended things to be was outdoors,” Fish said. “It’s just that the climate in New England isn’t suitable to do that, so people have learned to grow indoors, and they really haven’t explored the outdoor option.”

The company, formerly known as Bristol County Wellness Center, was formed in January 2017. It previously obtained a provisional certificate from the Cannabis Control Commission to operate as a marijuana cultivator and marijuana product manufacturer at its Attleboro facility.

Fish said the company initially planned to grow its crop indoors in Attleboro, but changed direction to focus on outdoor cultivation. It purchased a 90-acre farm at 136 Kellogg Road in Sheffield, where it will cultivate marijuana on about 3.5 acres of land.