Mayor Pike calls incoming medical marijuana facility ‘a good fit’ for St. George

ST. GEORGE — For the second time so far this year, St. George has been chosen as the location of a new medical marijuana facility.

A budtender shows a top cannabis strain at Serra, a dispensary in Portland, Oregon, Feb. 7, 2019 | Photo by Richard Vogel via the Associated Press, St. George News

Last week, Canadian-based TerrAscend Corp. announced it had been granted a medical cannabis processor license by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. TerrAscend will be coming to St. George in the form of its subsidiary, TerrAscend Utah. The parent company has also been billed as the first to be licensed for sales across the United States, Canada and Europe.

With recent changes to state law allowing for medical marijuana use, St. George Mayor Jon Pike said it was only a matter of time before the city was picked to host one or all aspects of the industry, including cultivation, processing and sales.

“We expected we would have these types of businesses open here, and now we’re seeing that start to happen,” Pike said.

TerrAscend Utah’s license allows it to package raw flower and to manufacture products from it, Brian Feldman, manager of TerrAscend Utah, said in an email to St. George News.

“We are pleased St. George will have a company like TerrAscend in our community,” Jeriah Threlfall, president of St George Area Economic Development, said in a press release. “TerrAscend has a proven record of pharmaceutical research and development of products that meet the high standards our state policymakers intended when they passed the law.”

St. George Mayor Jon Pike address the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce and others gathered for the 2019 State of the City address at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Feb. 6, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Pike said TerrAscend representatives approached the city about starting a facility in St. George.

“They approached us and simply wanted to say, ‘we are planning to come,’ and they’re looking at different locations,” Pike said.

TerrAscend hopes to have a processing facility operating in St. George by the middle of the year, Feldman said.

“We met with Mayor Jon Pike, and he has high expectations of those becoming part of the community and we aim to accomplish that,” Feldman said.

He said there are several reasons why TerrAscend Utah picked St. George for its processing facility.

“High standard of living, wonderful climate, great economy, beautiful scenery, amazing people, access to hospitals and medical professionals,” he said.

TerrAscend Utah plans to hire as many local employees as possible as its facility commences operation.

“Washington County has many talented, capable residents and we’re excited to be a part of that community,” Feldman said.

The mayor said he considers TerrAscend to be “a good fit” for the community after gaining an understanding of how the company operates.

“They seem to know what they’re doing and also seem to be focused on the medical-use side,” Pike said. “I like their model, I think it fits well here.”

TerrAscend is the second medical marijuana-focused company coming to St. George in the near future.

Earlier this year, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced that Justice Grown Utah had been picked for a medical cannabis pharmacy license for a yet to be determined location in St. George.

Justice Grown Utah was one of 10 companies selected for pharmacy licenses in early January. State officials said in a press release that it is anticipated these companies could open facilities in March and July of this year.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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