A prison goes to pot: Former correctional facility to become cannabis hub

Shuttered complex in Warwick, NY, once housed drug offenders

Tri-State /
Jun.June 02, 2021 09:00 AM
Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. (Hudson Sports Complex, Getty)

The former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. (Hudson Sports Complex, Getty)

Ahh, the irony.

A village in Orange County, New York, is recruiting businesses to turn a shuttered prison complex that housed drug offenders into a regional hub for the cannabis industry.

The Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick was a medium-security prison in the 1970s. Before that, it had been a state reform school for young boys. The facility closed in 2011.

Village officials have recruited seven cannabis industry businesses to set up shop at the 38-acre site, according to the Wall Street Journal. They have also awarded Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries about $30 million in tax incentives over 15 years.

New York State legalized recreational marijuana this spring. There are still no details for licensing grow operations and other businesses, and some worry that large companies like Green Thumb will squeeze out smaller operators.

New York’s marijuana law is meant to give priority to license applicants disproportionately hurt by the state’s past cannabis laws. The state is also supposed to grant half of the licenses to minority- and women-owned businesses.

[WSJ] — Dennis Lynch


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