ALACHUA – A medicinal marijuana processing and development facility could soon be located in Progress Corporate Park.

Robert Wallace, owner of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm in Alachua, announced the potential project while presenting a status update on the farm to the Alachua City Commission Monday night.

The Florida Senate passed a bill legalizing medicinal marijuana in June 2014, and the City of Alachua has been working on its land development regulations to address the change in state law since January 2015.

Wallace said Chestnut Hill is one of only five businesses in the state licensed for growing medicinal marijuana.

“We have a deadline of Feb. 7 to apply for a license to cultivate,” he said. Chestnut Hill will start growing marijuana in early spring at its farm located off NW 94th Avenue in Alachua.

Wallace stated that preparation of the farm has been extensive, including the construction of 10,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art greenhouses and expansive security measures.

“We have a 10 foot high Fort Knox-style fence with three rows of concertina wire and are working with GRU and Shands to install cameras for surveillance, and will also have 24-hour on-site security,” he said.

After the marijuana is grown and cultivated, it will need to be processed into medicinal form.

“Our processing plan is for medicine that is very unique and is a new development in combination with some international pharmaceutical companies, and we would like to put our processing facility at my property at Progress Park – essentially a pharmaceutical development operation,” Wallace said.

Wallace made a point to emphasize that the kind of marijuana that will be grown is low-THC, non-psychoactive and high-CBD designed very specifically for use in patients with epilepsy and particular forms of cancer.

The site for dispensing the medicine will be in Gainesville at a location next to Shands Hospital.

#     #     #