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Nelson supervisors show support for medicinal cannabis cultivator to locate in county

Nelson supervisors show support for medicinal cannabis cultivator to locate in county

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Marijuana plants growing inside the Propagation Room at Green Leaf Medical, a new medical marijuana dispensary selling a variety of cannabis products in Richmond on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

The Nelson County Board of Supervisors has unanimously endorsed the application of a medical cannabis cultivator to set up shop in the county, bringing with it potentially 100 jobs.

A copy of the board’s resolution provided to the Nelson County Times states a business prospect has expressed interest in locating a pharmaceutical processing facility in Nelson County’s Colleen Business Park. The resolution does not refer to the prospective company by name but it is described as being a leading medical cannabis cultivator.

The motion passed following a late-night closed session Nov. 10 officially recognized the board’s support of the company’s application to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to operate a pharmaceutical processor in Health Service Area I, which includes Nelson County, and authorized county staff to submit all necessary documents to that end.

The unnamed company has a proven track record of successfully and compliantly operating in regulated markets across the country and is “an accountable and transparent operator that will bring safe and compliant pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis products to the Virginia market,” the resolution reads.

It goes on to say the company has a team of experienced leaders who have a background in several industries crucial to medical cannabis oil operations. These include but are not limited to pharmaceutical operations, health care, and research and development.

“This experience will allow them to lead Virginia’s industry, providing patient-focused care in a sustainable manner while reinvesting in our local community,” according to the document.

The board’s support for a medicinal cannabis cultivator came just days before Gov. Ralph Northam announced a push to introduce and support legislation in the 2021 General Assembly session to legalize recreational marijuana use in Virginia.

East District Supervisor Jesse Rutherford said he believes Nelson County is a “natural fit” for products like cannabis.

Nelson County Board of Supervisors Chair Tommy Harvey said in an interview after the meeting that the facility potentially locating in Colleen is an opportunity for the county. He said he doesn’t see the prospect as a “real strong possibility” at this point, however.

“They’re throwing out the fishing line and seeing what they can catch,” Harvey said.

Should the company choose to locate in the Collen Business Park, the resolution states it is estimated to create 100 new jobs paying $15 to $16 per hour.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity to have good paying jobs in Nelson County. I do know that that has the potential to change 100 families, product aside,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford stressed the importance of the facility being structured around medicinal marijuana.

“These products are for cancer patients or patients on their death bed … with a plethora of ailments that people experience that are life altering this product is for them. This is not for high school students to abuse. This is not recreational marijuana,” he said.

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