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“Pot Factory” Gets OK

They are calling it a pot factory – an approved medical marijuana facility in West Haven. The “factory” will grow marijuana for medical use and will be operated by Advanced Grow Labs. AGL also operates facilities in Colorado.

While the local Planning and Zoning Commission has given the go-ahead, state licensing must still be procured. The question residents have is what the impact will be. Some worry having the facility will paint them with a drug-dealing label. Others point to the possibility of new jobs and taxes.

The site would only produce marijuana, not sell it directly to the public. All plants would be tracked and regulated under state authority and the facility would open in a currently abandoned building. If approved things would get rolling in early 2014.

According to the New Haven Register, city councilmember Thoomas McCarthy said he’s glad it’s creating jobs and is confident the business will be “one of the safest in West Haven.” His thinking is that the strong security required will take care of any issues.

Sited in an area zoned for industrial use, and with no public access, it’s likely the facility won’t pop up on anyone’s radar after the controversy passes. Because the building has been unoccupied for some time, getting a new business in place – any new business – reverses what could be a disturbing trend, the loss of entrepreneurial risk-takers. Without new businesses, West Haven will face a shrinking tax base and a continuing loss of good jobs.

No set amount has been offered for the economic impact the pot factory might have, but proponents point out that any increase in active businesses which need to hire workers is a positive thing. Mayor John M. Picard estimated that the business, which will install at least $ 500,000 of equipment, could bring in about $ 40,000 of new tax dollars. Opponents aren’t happy with the idea of marijuana being grown in their town, and some view it as selling out for minimal financial gain.


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