NEW BEDFORD — Cannabis is coming to the New Bedford Industrial Park.

MariMed, Inc. announced Tuesday it has purchased the space needed to build a full service, state-of-the-art medical marijuana cultivation and production facility in the Industrial Park, and the former Aerovox location.

According to a release, MariMed purchased a 137,500-square foot industrial building on 17 acres located at 167 John Vertente Boulevard.

The company paid $6,895,000 for the site. MariMed will develop approximately 70,000 square feet into a medical cannibis cultivation and production facility that will be leased by ARL Healthcare, Inc.

The not-for-profit ARL had originally reached a Host Community Agreement with the City of New Bedford back in December of 2016, with the City Council's Committee on Finance voting in favor of it. The agreement passed in a City Council vote April 12, before Councillor Linda Morad filed a motion to reconsider on April 13. It passed again with a unanimous vote of the City Council back in July.

"The acquisition of the John Vertente Boulevard site is an important milestone because it brings us that much closer to the day when the City is able to share in ARL's success under the Host Community Agreement we negotiated in 2016," New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said in the release. "Under our agreement, once the facility is operational, ARL will provide substantial annual benefits to the city and residents of New Bedford, including significant mitigation payments, the hiring of local workers, and the use local small businesses. Based on the company's community-oriented approach and the effective working relationship we have developed, I have every expectation ARL will succeed here in New Bedford."

MariMed assisted ARL Healthcare in receiving a Massachusetts Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) license to be able to grow, produce and dispense medicial marijuana. However, the agreement with the City of New Bedford allows for the facility only to cultivate and produce cannabis medicine and related products, which will then be distributed to patients at three ARL dispensaries in other communities.

ARL expects to employ 50 to 100 people and commence cultivation in the first quarter of 2018, with the first products in dispensaries in the second or third quarter of 2018, pending receipt of state approvals.

“As a Massachusetts-based company, we congratulate our neighbor ARL on their successful license application and are eager to help them become the best medical cannabis company in this State to provide high quality, safe cannabis medicine and treatments to licensed patients in need of consistent relief," said MariMed CEO Jon Levine. “This property purchase represents the continuing execution of MariMed’s strategy to acquire assets that will, in turn, increase revenue and earnings for all of our business units and generate tax revenue for the state.”

“There is no substitute for experience, and that is why we chose MariMed to design, build out and optimize our cultivation, production and dispensary facilities,” said Kenneth Housman, president of ARL Healthcare, Inc. “MariMed’s standard operating procedures and best practices have proven successful with its medical cannabis clients in multiple states.”

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