CORINNE – Box Elder County, known for its peaches and produce, will have a new crop coming soon: pot. Corinne, once known for its rambunctious history, is one of eight sites given the thumbs up by the state of Utah for medical marijuana cultivation.
Standard Wellness Utah has met all of the requirements to bring their operation to Utah. There are two other companies trying to get established in the county as well.
Corinne is a town of about 600 residents about 6 miles west of Brigham City.
The company currently has a 55,000 square-foot processing facility in Gibsonburg, Ohio. The Standard Wellness website said since they began in 2017, the company produces topicals, patches and other medicinal products.
Blair Holmes, a member of Corinne’s Planning and Zoning Commission, said Standard Wellness purchased 17 acres in the industrial area of town. The city owned the property and sold it to them.
“We went back to Ohio and toured their facility,” he said. “They told us they are mostly going to hire local people to run the plant.”
Standard Wellness will bring in their experts, their master botanist and others to start. Holmes said he thought they plan to start growing before their facility is built to meet their demand for product peaks.
“They will start growing in pods until their facility is built,” he said. “Nobody in the community has expressed any concerns about the business.”
Jeff Scott, the Box Elder County Commission Chair, said if the companies comply with all the state and city requirements, there is nothing anyone can do to stop cannabis growers from coming into their area.
“The companies must be located in manufacturing and agriculture zoned areas,” Scott said. “I’ve heard there are two other companies trying to come to Box Elder County. If they comply with all the requirements, they will be ready to go.”
Jack Wilbur, public information specialist for Utah Department of Agriculture, said they have approved eight special licenses to cultivate and produce cannabis oil. Before final approval, companies must complete pending background checks and must comply with other aspects of the law and rules.
The eight selected cultivators in Utah are Dragonfly Greenhouse, Harvest of Utah, Oakbridge Greenhouses, Standard Wellness Utah, True North of Utah, Tryke Companies Utah, Wholesome Ag and Zion Cultivars.
“All of the companies that applied for the eight permits had to meet pretty stringent criteria,” Wilbur said. “Standard Wellness of Utah was first approved and only one approved at this point.”
Wilber said the company met all of the state and city criteria. All of their employees and employers passed background checks. They had to have a $250,000 surety bond, be approved by the local planning and zoning commissions and, finally, the companies must have secured leases.
“The others have a lot of stuff to get together before we award additional licenses,” he said. “In terms of where all of the companies are going to be located, or when they begin operation, we need all of their applications submitted before we can say where they will be.”
Company officials may have had property in mind when they began the process, but that could change anytime.
“We started the process in late July,” Wilbur said. “We want them to have plants in the ground by the first of November, or as soon as possible.”
He doesn’t know of anyone in Cache Valley that is in the process of growing cannabis.
In the 1860s, Corinne was best known for gambling, casinos, quick divorces, and a wild lifestyle.