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Lewiston Town Board backs plan to grow medical marijuana at Pletcher Road facility

LEWISTON – The Town Board gave its unanimous support Monday to Lewiston Greenhouse’s plan to grow medical marijuana at their indoor site – H2Gro, a 12-acre facility on Pletcher Road.

New York State is currently seeking five manufacturers that will be allowed to grow the medical marijuana, with each allowed to run four dispensaries across the state.

The growing must be done indoors under tight security and will be dispensed under certain medical conditions which were legalized by the New York Compassionate Care Act.

A significant point in being selected as a manufacturer is support from local legislative bodies and, according to Monday’s approved resolution, the issue has bipartisan support from both the Town of Lewiston and the Niagara County Legislature, which passed a resolution of support in March.

Gary E. Smith, a Modern Landfill executive who is one of six owners of the greenhouse, noted previously that the current facility, which is used to hydroponically grow tomatoes, could produce about 2,000 pounds of medical marijuana per year.

If the Lewiston facility is selected, it will also mean a nice bump in revenues for county and local taxpayers. Counties that grow medical marijuana will receive 22.5 percent of the state’s 7 percent excise tax charged on medical marijuana.

After approving the resolution, Councilman Ronald R. Winkley noted that Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has also been backing medical marijuana laws and has given her support to efforts to ease federal regulations.

“It’s another step forward for people who really do have serious illnesses that can benefit,” Winkley said of medical marijuana.

In another matter, the long process to ease flooding in the Riverwalk Development moved a little closer to completion.

Town Engineer Robert P. Lannon Jr. said he is getting together with state parks officials to prepare an easement that will allow them to hook a new 850-foot storm sewer pipe to an existing drainage line at Joseph Davis State Park.

Lannon told the board that the cost to lay the pipe will be about $200,000 if it is done by a private contractor.