FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) – The City of Farrell is just a few weeks away from having a fully-operational medical marijuana facility in the neighborhood.
In August, we told you about FarmaceuticalRx. The company purchased the old PPV Plate building on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Farrell. It says within the next few weeks, the plant will be up and running at full capacity.
“When you were here last, we had an empty building that hadn’t been operating for years,” said Rebecca Myers, with FarmaceuticalRx.
The last time Myers showed us around the old PPV Plate building, it still had the old machinery in it. Now it’s a nearly finished construction site for Mercer County’s only medical marijuana growing and processing facility.
The building will house eight cultivation rooms for growing the plants, as well as an area for research and development.
The company will work alongside grad students at Penn State to research new ways to use medical marijuana — specifically to help with opioid addiction.
“There’s no issue about it. We have a public health crisis in the country right now and whatever we can do to help that, that’s a large intention we have,” Myers said.
She said with marijuana’s stigmatized history, there’s not much research out there.
Neighbors had been worried about the facility bringing more crime to the area.
“The level of cameras we do have, it’s almost casino and bank-like. It’s way above bank, in my opinion,” said Chris Marshall, vice president of security at the facility.
He said they’ll have at least 100 cameras covering all areas inside and outside of the buildings, as well as at least four security guards on patrol at all times.
FarmaceuticalRx will be hiring up to 100 people when it reaches full capacity.
“That’s probably the main thing. They’re providing jobs and a service for the community,” said Frank Garm, a carpenter on the site.
About 300 people showed up to a job fair at the VFW in Sharon — some with unlikely backgrounds.
“With trimming, we’re finding folks with beauticians and a lot of hairstyling backgrounds are being repurposed nicely to those kinds of jobs,” Myers said.
She said there are plans to expand with another facility, building a greenhouse on what is now the parking lot.
Myers said final inspection will most likely come at the end of January, at which point they plan to be fully operational by the end of February with the first products ready to go out in May.