Potential medical marijuana grow facility in York awaits state decision on licensure

YORK, Pa. – The wait for bureaucracy can be tedious, but for Five-Leaf Remedies, a start-up that wants to grow and process medical marijuana, they are using this time wisely as they wait for a determination on licensure from the state.

Five-Leaf is competing with 23 other applicants for one of two grower-processor permits allowed in south central Pennsylvania.

One of the advantages it has is access to the warehouse where it would be growing medical marijuana with the state’s approval, which cannot be said about most of the other applicants. So it is using this time to perfect the conditions needed to run a successful operation.

“Basically, what we’re doing is an experiment,” Christina Kauffman, with Five-Leaf Remedies, said. “It’s a chance for us to actually see how our systems work without actually planting marijuana.”

They’re doing this by growing vegetables in the warehouse, using the same systems that would be used to grow medical marijuana.

“[We’re] making sure that we’re able to collect data on the soil quality, the nutrients, and the amount of light that we’re giving the plants,” Kauffman said. “The grow light systems here are meant to replicate daylight to some degree.¬†All of the conditions in here are very closely monitored for humidity and heat.”

The start-up’s warehouse on Poplar Street used to be a sewing factory and tobacco facility, and could have a future as a medical marijuana processing plant.

“We’re taking a building that’s underutilized and making it an innovative center of industry for York City,” Kauffman said.

The company’s investors say they are locally based and are hoping to contribute to the city’s revitalization efforts, committing $5 million in renovations if their application is approved.

“We feel that we have uniquely positioned ourselves,” Kauffman said. “We’re a very community-centered group.”

A decision could come from the state later this month.