Trulieve plans massive marijuana production plant with $2 million PA grant

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Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis reportedly is planning to build a mammoth, half-million-square-foot cultivation and processing operation at a former steel mill in Pennsylvania with the help of a $2 million state redevelopment grant.

The plan, first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, comes on the heels of Trulieve completing the acquisition of Arizona-based Harvest Health & Recreation and raising $350 million of capital at an 8% annual interest rate.

The financing deal closed on Wednesday.

The Pennsylvania project also reflects an emerging trend in which marijuana multistate operators obtain government incentives to revitalize economically distressed areas.

Illinois-based Green Thumb Industries is receiving tax incentives to build out a $50 million marijuana cultivation and processing facility at a former prison in Warwick, New York.

Trulieve has completed more than $120 million worth of acquisitions since 2020 to enter and expand its presence in the fast-growing Pennsylvania MMJ market. The company lists six Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensaries on its website.

Harvest Health has had one of the largest retail presences in Pennsylvania, with 11 MMJ dispensaries listed on its website and a 12th “coming soon” to Pittsburgh.

The 2021 MJBizFactbook projects the Pennsylvania MMJ market will hit $775 million to $925 million in sales this year.

Trulieve purchased three buildings at the former U.S. Steel Tube Works and 37 acres of land from the Regional Industrial Development Corp. for $10.3 million, the Post-Gazette reported, citing RIDC President Don Smith.

Trulieve intends to build an MMJ processing and cultivation facility totaling at least 508,000 square feet, according to the report. The timeline and total project cost weren’t provided.

The announcement also comes just a week after Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced an adult-use legalization bill.

Gov. Tom Wolf has been pushing for legalization, and there’s increasing pressure to do so now that neighboring New Jersey has legalized recreational marijuana and is working toward launching a market next year.

However, a GOP-controlled state Senate could be a formidable obstacle to the measure passing this year.