Cannabis companies seeking cheap rent and a marijuana-friendly business environment need look no further than Walsenburg, Colorado.
While some towns are against the marijuana industry, the small hamlet 160 miles south of Denver is hoping to revitalize its economy by becoming a mini-mecca for cannabis growers, processors and distributors.
If the move is successful, it could help convince additional towns in Colorado and other MMJ states to roll out the welcome mat for cannabis businesses.
Walsenburg officials recently sold 330 acres of land owned by the town to investors who want to create a campus for cannabis companies to grow and process marijuana for the Denver market, USA Today reported. The site will have several greenhouses, each with room for expansion.
The project is expected to create 1,000 jobs and bring about $1 million to the local economy.
It’s a much-needed boost, as Walsenburg has been shrinking since the coal mining industry left in the 1960s.
Martra Development, the company behind the project that’s expected to be up and running as soon as October, looked at 17 counties and considered land and water availability and how cannabis-friendly they were, USA Today reported.
Some Walsenburg residents are skeptical that the industry will provide benefits to the town. But early indications are positive: One store that sells marijuana growing supplies said it’s having trouble keeping products in stock, as many growers have already moved into the area.