Fulcrum Enterprises plans to go organic as Great Barrington's 1st outdoor pot cultivator
GREAT BARRINGTON — The town's first outdoor marijuana grower plans to do it the old-fashioned way — in raised beds with natural sunlight.
Fulcrum Enterprises LLC also plans to make this large greenhouse operation organic, said company principal John Heck in a phone interview Friday.
Fulcrum is currently negotiating for 5.7 acres off Van Deusenville Road in Housatonic, in an industrial area next to a commercial solar array.
Heck said the company plans to build 15 greenhouses for 80,000 square feet of growing space.
Fulcrum has already held one of two required community meetings, and plans its second one for May 28.
From there, it will begin seeking town approval. When that is done, it will apply for a cultivation license from the state Cannabis Control Commission.
While the town has one retail marijuana shop now open and four others in the permitting pipeline, Fulcrum's cultivation business will be the first in town. The nearest growing operation will be in Sheffield, where farmer Ted Dobson has partnered with Theory Wellness, which opened the town's first retail shop in January.
Heck said the company will hopefully begin construction at the site before winter.
Heck, a real estate developer based in Westchester County, N.Y., is partnering with his brother, Bill Heck, as well as David Ross and Jerad Lauzier. Ross and Lauzier run a greenhouse construction company, and Ross does extensive consulting for companies that grow hemp and marijuana.
"What makes this so exciting is how much they know, between direct involvement and consulting," Heck said of Ross and Lauzier. "They've been involved with over 300 growing facilities around the country."
Heck said the team is excited to branch into this new industry. "It's an emerging opportunity here that seems durable," he said.
The group has spent more than a year working on the plan.
Ross and Lauzier are originally from Salisbury, Conn., he said, and plan to move back to the area to run the business, and will hire local workers.
Heck said they plan to grow a "very high-quality product." Lauzier is a growing expert who plans to use regenerative agriculture that retains the soil's integrity.
The team also has a scientist on board, as well as an "odor specialist" and plans to use a natural spray around the fence perimeter that encapsulates the molecules in the odor and forces them to the ground, Heck said.
"Odor is somewhat of a misunderstood issue," he added. "It's only four, maybe six weeks that it smells."
But Heck said the company is ready to listen and cooperate with the town on any issues that might arise.
"We're coming in here to do it right," he said.
Heather Bellow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.