US (NJ): Bergenfield Sears site could yield 5 tons of cannabis a year, and a windfall for the town

A vacant Sears store that was once home to a popular roller-skating rink may find new life as an indoor cannabis farm and manufacturing plant.

The Borough Council is considering a measure that would allow businesses to cultivate and manufacture cannabis. If approved, it would clear the way for Eleven Eleven Wellness, which is pursuing a contract for the building, to apply to the state for its license.

Borough officials stressed that this is just the first step in weighing whether to allow the business at the site. Retail sales and distribution would not be permitted. “We understand this is a sensitive issue. It's a long process. If we don't start, we won't see where it leads,” Mayor Arvin Amatorio said. “This is right at the border of town. It would not cause any disturbance or detriment to the residents.”

The potential for reaping a 2% tax transfer from such businesses makes the option worthwhile to explore, officials said. The company estimated that its 882 plants going through five harvests a year would produce about 9,800 pounds of cannabis. The product could generate more than $1 million in revenue annually for the borough. The property itself would also increase in value, said Corey Gallo, the borough administrator


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