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Newark greenhouse owner envisions cannabis-growing operation

The 30-acre greenhouse complex on East Maple Avenue in Newark was where Jackson & Perkins grew its world-famous roses for decades.

That company left Newark long ago for sunny California. The most recent tenant, ERP Environmental Fund, which grew trees on the site — although never in the numbers originally anticipated — departed in December following a settlement with the greenhouse’s owner, Tom Salviski.

Now Salviski is pitching another use for the 335,000-square-foot site: hemp or cannabis growing, with a vegetable-growing operation another possible use.

His asking price: $1.45 million.

With passage of the Farm Bill in 2018 that legalized the growth of hemp nationwide — it is no longer classified with cannabis plants that produce THC, the compound that produces a high — Salviski has been pitching the plant to potential growers of hemp or for medical or recreational marijuana, the latter still not legal in New York.

“I am sitting on a huge, heated, commercial greenhouse in upstate New York between Syracuse and Rochester,” he wrote in an email to industry members. “We think it’s the perfect place to grow and process hemp and hemp derivatives. We are seeking a permitted New York hemp grower who wants an amazing new home and research center. Under one roof, there is ample room to grow, dry, extract, shake, process, store, clone, seed, package and ship product. Soup to nuts, seed to sale; it can all be done here.”

Products that can be made from hemp include paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed. The plant has just trace amounts of THC, the compound that gets people high. It has high concentrations of cannabinol, or CBD oil.

Some scientific studies suggest CBD oil may help treat a number of ailments, such as chronic pain and anxiety, without the THC that gives people a high.

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