published on September 20, 2016 - 7:26 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The City of Hanford is weighing a proposal by an Oakland company to use the 1 million square-foot vacant Pirelli Tire plant in the Hanford Industrial Park to cultivate medical marijuana indoors. The building has been largely empty since 2001.

According to a Sept. 12 letter from Keith Stephenson of Purple Heart Patient Care, the operation could employ as many as 1,115 workers and jobs could start at $15 per hour.

The Hanford City Council took the plan up at a study session this week. It will weigh the potential upside economics with their comfort level over marijuana cultivation in this conservative community.

According to the letter, Stephenson said the company was willing to offer a $25 per pound tax to the city that would provide up to $14 million a year in revenue to the city by his calculation.

Stephenson has served patients from an Oakland facility since 2006, and currently has 26 employees. He is a retired United Airlines tech who underwent two hip replacements that led to involvement with medical marijuana.

He says the facility could be in full operation by late 2017.

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