Groundbreaking in Wallkill

Groundbreaking in Wallkill

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WALLKILL, N.Y. — Ground was broken on Thursday for a medicinal marijuana production and manufacturing facitlity in Wallkill, Orange County.

“We’re bringing this team together to form something that’s one of a kind and to bring medicine to the people of New York,” said Valley Agriceutical president Erik Holling.

On Friday, Valley Agriceuticals submitted its application for one of the five coveted licenses being granted to the New York State Department of Health. Even though no decisions will be made for at least a couple of months, Holling is confident that their bid will be one of the winners.

“We know what it takes to have medicine on the shelves by January 2016, because of our extensive experience in growing elsewhere, so therefore we had to take that timeline figure out what it took to actually get that medicine there on time, and we knew it had to take this,” said Holling.

Valley Agriceuticals is one of eight companies in Orange County alone that has applied for a license. One of the things that they said sets them apart from the others is the vested personal interest its team has in seeing this project through.

“This is amazing. This is really exciting for me,” said Eileen Konieczny, co-founder of the company, and a registered nurse. “We’re moving forward, we believe that we have a really good time, we believe that we should win this license and the groundbreaking and building the facility is absolutely a necessity.”

Valley Agriceuticals has plans to build a 100,000 square foot facility where they will cultivate and produce pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis. They will then package and transport the medicine to various health centers throughout the state.

The company has also agreed to preserve 70 of the more than 130-acre property for conservation.

“This is really something that’s changed the country already. The mindset of caution that originally happened when you talked about medicinal marijuana and now you’re really talking about the pharmaceutical benefit to people that really need it,” said County Executive Steve Neuhaus, R-Orange County.

Building the facility will create more than 50 construction jobs, and if approved, 100 full-time jobs.

The five license winners are expected to be announced by the end of the summer.