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Cannabis producer seeks temporary location while permanent site is built

by Deborah Howlett

On the verge of State approval for its cannabis license, Stone Hill Manufacturing has asked the Hopewell Township Committee to approve a temporary manufacturing site on Reed Road while it builds its main cultivation and manufacturing operation at the corner of Scotch and Pennington-Washington Crossing Roads.

Supply chain issues will create delays for some of the equipment that the operation needs to complete construction, company founder Rob Piasio told the Township Committee on Monday. 

“It’s just going to take a while to execute with supply chain and bottlenecks,” he said.

Stone Hill, which will be the only grower and sole manufacturer authorized by the Township, is in the final stage of its application to the State and expects to go before the Cannabis Regulatory Commission in the next few months. The company has cleared what Piasio called a “major milestone” by making it through the investigation phase of the application.

“We are very optimistic we will be approved at one of (the next three monthly) meetings,” he said. 

The Township Committee approved a resolution supporting Stone Hill’s application for a state Class 1 and Class 2 cannabis license application 16 months ago. 

“When you first came to us we were not sure about cannabis at all, but we were impressed by your plan and we still are impressed,” Deputy Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning told Piasio.

The company plans a 354,000 square foot greenhouse and manufacturing plant on a 135-acre parcel of land directly across Scotch Road from the Township municipal building. The site footprint would use only about five acres of the land and Stone Hill has agreed to preserve the historic farmhouse on the site and another building on the land.

However, building the grow facility now might take more than two years, Piasio said. He asked the Township Committee to approve a temporary production facility that will allow the company to use its license to meet cannabis supply shortages and generate revenue once Stone Hill is fully licensed and construction at the permanent site is underway.

The Township Committee will have to revise the current cannabis statute to accommodate Stone Hill. The changes will likely be introduced and discussed at the next two Township Committee meetings. 

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