When Grassroots Cannabis first moved into its medical cannabis growing facility in Taneytown, the business didn’t know how big the market would be. Two years later, it’s expanding both production and hiring.
The facility wasn’t harnessing all of its potential growing space when it began operations in 2017, using about 32,000 square feet of the establishment, so now the company is planning to expand its production space to the remainder of the facility’s 54,000-square-foot capacity, said Andy Cohen, one of the partners in Grassroots Cannabis.
There are a lot of different parts of the facility needed to grow the product, Cohen said — with rooms for drying and curing, trimming, testing, packaging and more — but the expansion will just be for additional rooms devoted to growing marijuana flower.
“We can’t produce enough product to satisfy our customers, which is why we are expanding,” said Cohen, of Reisterstown. “We also want to satisfy the patient base in the state that is looking for the medicine that we produce, and we want to make sure we get enough of it out there.”
Though he couldn’t “divulge specific financial information,” Cohen said Grassroots has seen growth similar to that of the Maryland medical cannabis program, which is “growing robustly."
After some plumbing, electric and HVAC-related internal construction, the extra space will allow the facility to multiply its production capabilities — going from producing between 50 and 70 pounds of flower per week to between 200 and 250 pounds per week, Cohen said.
And that extra production will mean they’ll need to hire about another 30 employees, Cohen said.
“Our first priority is always to hire locally, whether that’s Taneytown or Carroll County,” Cohen said. “Fifty percent of our employees already are from either Carroll or Frederick County, so we absolutely would expect to increase that.”
Grassroots, also known as Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC before a rebranding, won approval for the expansion at the Taneytown planning commission’s Monday meeting.
“We let them start working on their interior renovations with what the county calls a contingent start,” James Wieprecht, the city’s director of planning, said after that meeting. “That lets them begin framing, rough wiring, but it doesn’t give them the ability to get any work inspected.”
Grassroots’ expansion follows recent growth of the medical cannabis industry in Carroll County, which got its first medical cannabis dispensary, Herbology, in July.
The expansion is already underway and should be complete by Nov. 1, Cohen said.
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“We’re excited and thankful that the market has done well, that the patients have taken well to our products with dispensary support,” Cohen said. “We’re super thankful and humble and excited to be a part of the Maryland program."