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MAR 03 - MAR 10, 2015

For Growing Medical Marijuana, Lewiston Greenhouse LLC has the Facility, and Growing Expertise

By Frank Parlato

March 3, 2015

Medical marijuana grows well in greenhouses.

For the last few weeks, the Niagara Falls Reporter has looked at the new medical marijuana law in New York State - and considered if one local company - located in Lewiston - Lewiston Greenhouse LLC - - was a reasonable candidate for selection as one of five growers statewide of the newly legal crop.

According to published reports, dozens of companies are already into the planning stages to compete for one of the five registered organizations (RO's) that will be licensed by New York to grow and dispense marijuana.

We have reported that Lewiston Greenhouse, LLC. - owned in part by the owners of Modern Disposal, the 20th largest waste removal company in the United States, with an annual payroll of over $21 million and annual expenditures of over $61 million, much of it within Niagara County - is, certainly, the leading local contender.

In the selection of the five growers in New York State, there are expectations that it will be merit-based considering location, experience, type of security and background checks.

Geographic diversity will play a role so they are spread throughout the state, according to state officials.

And of course a company has to have sufficient facilities and land, or a bond of $2 million, to be approved to grow medical marijuana.

Lewiston Greenhouse LLC was probably the first serious contender for one of the five growing spots to have a location readymade.

Since growing medical marijuana must be done indoors, according to the regulations for New York's medical marijuana law, if selected, Lewiston Greenhouse plans to operate out of their 12 acre, state-of-the-art greenhouse on Pletcher Rd., which presently produces tomatoes under the name H2 Gro.

If selected as a grower, Lewiston Greenhouse will shift its operations from growing tomatoes to medical marijuana.

As for experience - a key ingredient in the selection process - Lewiston Greenhouse has it. They grow six million pounds of vine-ripened tomatoes without pesticides or herbicides annually.

Their greenhouse uses a hydroponic system which circulates and re-circulates water and nutrients directly to the plants' roots.

UV light sterilizes the water before re-circulation to prevent spread of diseases. Pest insects are controlled using other insects to kill the pests, eliminating the need for chemical pesticides.

Charlotte's Web is by far the world's most famous strain of medical marijuana. Lewiston Greenhouse LLC has the exclusive NY license.
Charlotte Figi with mother Paige. The child - with only months to live - was cured with the strain that bears her name.


Along every couple of rows of plants are bee hives with its own queen and worker bees and drones. The bees pollinate the plants.

The company also uses natural sunlight - good for growing medical marijuana also - and light-diffusing materials to provide plants with extra light. Carbon dioxide is pumped in to ensure sufficient nutrients for the plants.

The Greenhouse is also an award winning wonder for energy efficiency.

All electricity and heat for the greenhouse is supplied by Modern's partnership with Landfill Energy Systems, which converts the energy in gas extracted from Modern Landfill into electricity and heat. Gas extracted from Modern Landfill, once burned as waste, has been used since 2005 to generate electricity and heat for the H2Gro Greenhouses.

The heat for the greenhouse is produced using special heat recovery equipment surrounding seven electrical generators at neighboring Innovative Energy. These generators are powered by methane gas collected from Modern Landfill.

Lastly, the fruit is handpicked, hand sorted and ripened on the vine. The company employs 23 crop workers and five supervisor/managerial staff while picking tomatoes eight months a year.

Because growers of medical marijuana will be engaged in year round cultivation and because of the extra security required by the state as part of its regulatory process, it is expected that the net employment gain from converting the greenhouse from tomatoes to medical marijuana will result in more than three dozen new jobs.

Under the Act, a grower, once selected, may produce no more than five strains of medical marijuana.

One of the strains Lewiston Greenhouse will certainly grow is Charlotte's Web - the world's most famous strain of medical marijuana.

Lewiston Greenhouse has the exclusive license for New York State for Charlotte's Web.

Charlotte's Web has received international recognition as a miracle cure for epilepsy suffered by children.

This strain of marijuana is low in THC, the psycho-active compound found in marijuana and high in cannabidiol (CBD)

Charlotte's Web will not make users "high" because of the low THC content.

Named after Charlotte Figi, whose story led to her being described as "the girl who is changing medical marijuana laws across America," Charlotte's Web was developed in 2011 by the Stanley brothers by crossbreeding a strain of marijuana with industrial hemp.

Presently the developers of Charlotte's Web are treating nearly 200 epileptics with Charlotte's Web.

Nearly all the children have seen dramatic reductions in the frequency and intensity of their seizures.

Time Magazine noted, in October 2014, that the creators of Charlotte's Web had a waiting list of more than 12,000 families, some of whom moved to Colorado to be able to legally obtain it.

If approved, Lewiston Greenhouse LLC, after growing Charlotte's Web, will create the extract, a CBD rich oil, extracted from the harvested plants and concentrated through rotary evaporation, on site.

In New York, it is expected that once Lewiston Greenhouse LLC gets a growers license, people on the waiting list in Colorado - people with children suffering from epilepsy and other ailments -will come to Lewiston where they will get the help their children need.

Lewiston Greenhouse has right now some 75,000 tomato plants growing in pots with shredded coconut used instead of soil. By mid-March, the first crop will be picked, and by July, 40,000 pounds a day of tomatoes will be harvested.

But next year by this time the crop may be medical marijuana - and that strain known throughout the world as the true miracle of medical marijuana - Charlotte's Web.

With only five growers to be selected in the entire state, it seems not improbable that the only company that has the license for Charlotte's Web - that has a superb growing facility - and certainly is financially stable - should be topmost on the list of candidates.

That's good news for the thousands of children on the waiting list- children suffering from epilepsy and other diseases, whose parents, who, by next year at this time, will be able to obtain for them Charlotte's Web in Lewiston New York.



Lewiston Greenhouse LLC - with its 12 acre greenhouse - is now growing tomatoes. But that may soon change.






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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina