A proposed cannabis, cultivation, processing, packaging and distribution operation could bring up to 300-400 jobs to an industrial park in Wawarsing that was once home to Schrade Knife Company and Channel Master.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced Wednesday that Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated cannabis and medical marijuana company, is moving forward with the planning process and has met with local and state officials to begin reviewing designs for the proposed facility.
“This is one of the biggest economic opportunities we have had in Ellenville in decades,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said in a news release. “Cresco will turn a site that once represented the beating heart of this economy back into the economic engine that it can and should be — providing good-paying jobs for local residents and putting Ulster County at the leading edge of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. As we also continue to make real progress to revitalize TechCity, this facility is yet another sign that Ulster County is open for businesses and investing to re-energize our economy.”
One of the fastest-growing cannabis companies in the U.S., Cresco operates 18 production facilities in ten states, Ryan said. If approved for construction, the Ellenville facility would be located on the property of the former Schrade Knife factory which shut down 17 years ago and left behind a vacant building that was torn down in 2015.
Ryan said the redevelopment would involve the construction of a new building dedicated to growing and cultivation along with space for processing, production, packaging, distribution and administrative offices. Officials said the exact size of the building is still to be determined, but they know it would be at least 360,000 square feet and would involve over a $50 million investment by Cresco.
“Local industry once thrived here, with good-paying jobs close to home, the hallmark of companies like Schrade Knife and Channel Master. So, after decades of shuttered doors and empty lots, it is exciting to have an investment of this magnitude formally under consideration — and at this very site,” State Senator Mike Martucci (R,C,I-Hudson Valley and Catskills) said. “This opportunity is much-needed and presents major potential for this rural, economically distressed area to be at the forefront of our state’s burgeoning cannabis industry. I welcome Cresco Labs to Ulster County, and I look forward to working with County Executive Ryan to help them forge strong bonds with the community and see this project through to completion.”
Town of Wawarsing Supervisor Terry Houck said he looks forward to working with Cresco and Ulster County on finalizing these plans and re-establishing a manufacturing base for the region.”
“This project is further evidence that the Ellenville area is poised for a renaissance, as we see signs of substantial investment in housing, tourism and now manufacturing on the horizon,” Ellenville Mayor Jeff Kaplan said.
Ryan said with the legalization of marijuana in New York State, officials are seeking to position Ulster County as a leader in this booming market by being one of the first communities in the state to house a major marijuana distribution facility.
“Ulster County boasts over 400 farms and approximately 58,932 acres of farmland,” Ryan said. “Additionally, the county has several existing companies at the forefront of the emerging cannabis industry who have helped pave the way for the sector’s rapid growth.”