HINSDALE — An eastern Massachusetts cannabis company aims to expand its toehold in Hinsdale with a 2-acre cultivation site near Ashmere Lake.
Ipswich Pharmaceutical Associates of Rowley will ask the Planning Board to approve a special permit for a nearly 91,000-square-foot project south of Peru Road. The site would include four greenhouses used to start marijuana plants, then two fields, 40,000-square-feet each, for outdoor growing.
Matthew Bandle of Ipswich briefed town officials in a teleconference this week, then listened as the Select Board agreed to forward his company's application to the Planning Board.
Bandle said the growing operation would create 20 year-round jobs in Hinsdale. The company also operates a smaller greenhouse on Bullards Crossing at the town's southern end.
"It's a bigger project so it's going to be good for the community," Bandle said. "We fully intend to move quickly on this project."
But given current restrictions on public gatherings, the Planning Board may wait before acting, said its chairman, Richard Scialabba. He said he wants town residents to be able to examine details on the project, proposed for 246 Peru Road.
The site is located on the south side of Route 143, east of Creamery Road, and is referred to in Planning Board minutes as "the old Reed property."
"There will be people interested in seeing the plan," Scialabba said Friday.
Residents backed a cannabis bylaw in town meeting action in 2018.
"It's going to be a while before we have a meeting and they're well aware of that," Scialabba said of Ipswich. "I'm trying to make it fair for all the people."
In a January meeting with the Planning Board, Joseph McCarthy, the Ipswich CEO, previewed the company's plans for the Peru Road site.
Ipswich plans to produce cannabis for both the medicinal and recreational markets, McCarthy told the board in Jan. 7. McCarthy could not be reached Friday to say more about the project.
Bandle, the project manager for the new Hinsdale effort, told officials in the conference call Wednesday that Ipswich aims to produce a "low-cost, high-quality product" while building relationships with local partners.
As at the Bullards Crossing greenhouse, the Peru Road site will be fenced for security reasons, with 24-hour surveillance. "This will be virtually hidden from public view from Peru Road," Bandle said.
Ipswich is the same company that tried repeatedly to secure approval to operate in the town of Becket. McCarthy had also proposed a cannabis business on a 4.7-acre Jacobs Ladder Road property in Becket at the intersection of Routes 8 and 20.
Larry Parnass can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-588-8341.