Groundbreaking held for medical marijuana grower in Greene County

Observer-Reporter

Steelers Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham waits to be interviewed at a groundbreaking ceremony in 2017 for the AGRiMED Industries medical marijuana growing operation being built in Cumberland Township. Construction of the first building can be seen in the background.

A surprise inspection “found numerous violations” at the medical marijuana growing/processing facility in Cumberland Township, the state Department of Health reported in a news release.

The department, as a result, issued a cease and desist order prohibiting the operator, AGRiMED Industries of PA LLC, from “harvesting, cutting or destroying marijuana plants without a department inspector present.”

During that inspection, the Health Department said AGRiMED did not produce records “establishing how or when it destroyed marijuana plant that matured. It also could not produce security footage of the destruction of the plants, as required, because the security cameras were frequently non-functional. Plants that reach maturity and are not processed must either be harvested, trimmed or destroyed.”

Under the order, the company can grow plants “to cultivate its unique strains,” but cannot remove anything from them without a department inspector on hand. AGRiMED also cannot turn off security equipment without written authorization from the department, and if there is an outage, it must be immediately reported to the department.

AGRiMED, according to the Health Department, “has been growing marijuana, but its processing equipment is not operational, so it has not been processing or shipping medication for sale at dispensaries.”

Health Secretary Rachel Levine was adamant in her response about the violations. She said in a statement: “Lapses in security cannot and will not be tolerated. Patients and communities are relying on us to ensure their medication is grown and processed in a safe, secure location, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

AGRiMED did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Observer-Reporter.

The Greene County facility is located at 280 Thomas Road, on a 61-acre site east of Carmichaels. It can trace its genesis to June 2017, when the state issued AGRiMED one of the first 12 licenses to grow medical marijuana. The company broke ground on the Cumberland facility that October, and got approval to grow in February 2018.

This is not the first time legal action has been taken against AGRiMED. In February 2018, Accelerated Construction Services of Morgantown, W.Va. – the general contractor involved in construction of the AGRiMED building – filed a mechanic’s lien claiming it was owed $693,831 for work it had completed. Four subcontractors filed additional liens.

The liens were filed against those associated with the project: AGRiMED, Greene Energy Resource Recovery LLC and Cumberland Property Leasing LLC. Accelerated Construction also filed a civil lawsuit against Cumberland Property Leasing.

The liens were satisfied in late August, according to all parties involved.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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