HANSON — Impressed LLC owners Ralph Greenberg and his daughter Alli held another community outreach meeting at the Hanson Library/Multi-Service Senior Center Thursday, June 27.
The cannabis grow facility planned for 15 Commercial Way in the town’s industrial park off Route 27 is co-owned by the Greenbergs and Dover dentist Shahram Moghaddam, who currently owns three practices on the South Shore — and plans to attend a Tuesday, July 2 community outreach session or a Tuesday, July 9 meeting with Selectmen. Both July meetings are planned for the Selectmen’s meeting room in Town Hall — at 6 p.m. July 2 and at 7 p.m., July 9.
The most recent meeting was less contentious than a previous session held on June 13, and this time focused more on resident’s questions about water and power consumption during draughts or heat waves as well as the ability of the HVAC system to prevent odors from escaping the facility, any plans for future expansion and how damaged plants might be disposed of.
Once again, Bob Hayes, who hosts WHCA-TV’s “Bring It On!” show moderated the discussion, this time presenting some questions of his own from research he has done into the issue.
The Greenbergs, originally from Randolph, have moved to Pembroke to be closer to the business location, saying they are happy to be so close to the facility.
“Our goal is to have a discreet, secure clean company and provide a revenue stream to the town,” Ralph Greenberg said. “We only have one investor, it’s not a holding company, it’s not some big corporation coming in.”
He said the three owners hoped to close on the building this week, once septic upgrades are completed and approved.
“We know you sometimes have water issues in the summer,” Ralph Greenberg said, pledging to have tanker trucks deliver water to the facility for the high-demand summer growing season if there are draught conditions. Wastewater discharge would be minimal, he said.
Hayes’ questions included how the town could track revenue owed.
Alli Greenberg said every plant is assigned a barcode and is “completely tracked” until it is sold and the owners have crop insurance based on expectations of how much would be produced in a given crop.
They stressed it is not intended to be a high-volume business, describing it as more akin to a “craft cultivator.”
“We’re only supplying two retail stores with our company,” Alli Greenberg said. They will price their product as a craft brand and retailers will have to be willing to pay it to do business with them.
They hope to be able to start a crop by Thanksgiving.
Hayes also noted some growing businesses expand through the use of pod trailers. But Ralph Greenberg said their growing would be done only in a clean grow-room inside the building and that they have no plans for expansion. A proper reverse-osmosis wastewater system will be used to control contamination of groundwater, they said.
The multi-million dollar renovation of the building includes an investment of about $1 million in lighting.
The Greenbergs also told residents living near the facility that they were welcome to come to them if odor became a problem.
“I would hope that you would come because we’re trying to explain to you that it’s not going to happen,” Alli Greenberg said. “It is the one concern I see in every town [that host grow facilities].”
Ralph Greenberg compared the smell of growing cannabis to a pine tree being run through a wood-chipper “times 80 percent.”
“It’s a fresh smell,” he said. “There is no smoky smell.”
Some residents compared it more to a skunky smell.
Regarding security plans, Alli Greenberg said a letter outlining them has been sent to Hanson Police Chief Michael Miksch and they are waiting for his reply, but there is no need for traffic details anticipated.
Employees will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements because of growing techniques the company wishes to protect. Alli Greenberg said she does not know at this point whether the company can commit to refusing to hire applicants with past minor drug convictions on their record, as is permitted under social equity laws, saying she does believe in second chances.
Plants being disposed of for any reason will be trucked off-site and treated with a chemical that renders them non-consumable before they are incinerated.