Pot grower goes to Sandisfield

Residents in August 2019 protest an industrial cannabis operation planned for an industrial Housatonic neighborhood. The company is hoping for better luck in a remote Sandisfield location.

SANDISFIELD — A commercial pot grower that withdrew plans for a Great Barrington facility after being run out by angry neighbors is taking its project to where there is no neighbor in sight — at the edge of state forest in the far southeastern end of the county.

Sama Productions, LLC — formerly Fulcrum Enterprises — is under contract for a slice of land off Abby Road to build a greenhouse growing and manufacturing operation for industry sales only.

And the company is taking its first step at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with its Community Outreach Meeting under a heated tent at the Sandisfield Road fire station, to explain the project and answer questions from residents and abutters. 

Principal John Heck said the plan remains the same as those drawn up for the industrial site off Van Deusenville Road in Housatonic last year. That plan included 13 solar greenhouses totaling around 59,000 square feet and a manufacturing building to extract oils from the plants. Heck said some changes will be necessary given the new site, but he couldn't be specific.

The company’s foray into Great Barrington swept the town into a drama over outcry by neighbors who worried about odors and other potential fallout from the facility.

Despite modifications to the plan that included trimming the size of the operation by around 20,000 square feet, opposition grew so fierce that the company in January withdrew their permit application.

“It is a much less populated area and the location of our property and buildings will be such that they won’t be seen at all,” he said of the new site.

Lighting known as “dark sky,” which only turns on during movement, will further minimize the impact, he said.

Heck said the next step is to forge a host agreement with the town, then file for a special permit. Everything must be in place before the company can apply for its state license from the Cannabis Control Commission. 

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871. On Twitter @BE_hbellow.