Medical marijuana, hemp companies looking to expand in Easthampt - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Medical marijuana, hemp companies looking to expand in Easthampton

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Cannabis was at the forefront of Easthampton's Planning Board meeting.

Two companies presented to the board Tuesday night in hopes to grow their business in the city.

This is only the first steps in the process, but both companies have been approved to move forward.
First up at Tuesday's Easthampton Planning Board meeting was INSA, Inc.

The company is seeking a modification of a 2016 special permit. The medical marijuana cultivation and processing facility is hoping to expand from 39,000 square feet to about 89,000 square feet.
"About double in size to meet need of patients now and in the future, adding more jobs to the community. One of the largest employers in Easthampton, happy to support the community the best we can," said INSA, Inc. CEO, Mark Zatyrka. 
Zatyrka told Western Mass News they currently have 70 employees and plan to add 20 more jobs.

The company is located on 122 Pleasant Street and would expand to a portion of the second and third floor of the Keystone Mill.

Misty Valley Farm was next to present.

The Southwick-based farming company is looking for approval to bring an approximately 3,000 square foot hemp cultivation and processing facility in the lower level of Eastworks Mill.

Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains extremely low levels of THC.

Both companies presentations were approved with conditions.

Both have an odor condition where they can't allow noxious odor or gases to escape, and to incorporate odor control technology and provisions.

As for Misty Valley Farm, they also are required to come before the planning board if they want to expand.

Western Massachusetts residents like Paulo Jorge Palatino are happy with the outcome. He said medicinal marijuana helps with body pains.
"Had a head on collision with drunk driver. [I] can't bear the pain, helps me to motivate me out of bed. Don't want to be in bed on a nice day like today," he added. 
The Easthampton city planner said  the next step is for the companies to apply for building permits.

INSA adds that they will be applying for recreational licenses for cultivation and for their dispensary.

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