Hatfield considers marijuana growing operation

  • A marijuana plant is visible at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., March 22, 2019. AP PHOTO/Julio Cortez

Staff Writer
Published: 4/13/2019 12:04:59 AM

HATFIELD — A cannabis cultivator whose CEO is an agronomy professor at the University of Massachusetts is looking at a 6-acre parcel in Hatfield to begin growing a marijuana crop.

The Planning Board this week was presented with plans by Stephen Herbert, the CEO of Urban Grown, Inc., which is hoping to begin using the unspecified property to grow up to 10,000 square feet of the crop.

The proposal for Hatfield comes after Urban Grown already received a provisional license from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, though that was for the Long View Farm on Christian Lane in Whately.

Herbert told Hatfield’s planners that plan fell through. Urban Grown had signed a host community agreement with Whately officials.

Herbert said his son, Michael Herbert, will be the grower and will live on the site of the farm.

Crops will be grown in a light-deprivation greenhouse and a hoophouse, with two to three crops growing each year.

In addition to his son, other partners in the enterprise are Scott Soares, the former state commissioner of agriculture, and Joe Czajkowski, a Hadley farmer, who may use other parts of the farm for growing squash and other vegetables.

Planning Board Chairman Robert Wagner said Friday that Urban Grown will need a special permit with site plan review at a public hearing. Planners will likely want to know how the company plans to secure the property, keep odors from drifting off-site and prevent light pollution.

Because a home is on the land, no marijuana sales would be allowed.

Urban Grown is the first cultivator to come forward in Hatfield. Wagner said another company was considering a site in town, though it appears that site will not meet that company’s needs.

So far, the only marijuana-related business approved in Hatfield is Treeworks, which is expected to open a cannabis manufacturing and processing facility at a site on Routes 5 and 10. Treeworks will make products for retailers and dispensaries, such as edible gummies, a pain salve that is a non-psychoactive cream for achy joints and sore muscles, and tinctures, which are medicinal cannabinoid liquid.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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