The former Lindsay Olives plant in Lindsay has gotten the OK to operate as a cannabis cultivation and manufacturing hub. Image via Google Earth
Written by Frank Lopez
The former Lindsay Olive processing plant will be home to an indoor cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution operation after the Lindsay City Council voted 5-0 to approve a conditional indoor use permit for the project on March 9.
The news was first reported by the Sun Gazette newspaper in Exeter.
The 35-acre property at the corner of North Westwood Avenue and West Tulare Road is zoned as Heavy Industrial. The olive processing plant closed in 1992. After that, Tulare Frozen Foods operated there but it has been vacant since 2011.
The property owner, Eric Hanson, requested the conditional use permit. Hanson is the president of Fischer Metal Products, Inc. in Visalia.
There are 10 existing buildings on the property, but initial cannabis-related operations will take place in a 10,000 square-foot space dubbed “Building C.”
Existing offices inside “Building C” will be used for non-cultivation business activities.
The project will operate from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to a city staff report.
At the March 9 meeting, Hanson said the initial phase of operations will take about 20 employees. More could be hired as revenue grows.
Hanson said that the other buildings could also be utilized by other companies for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution if there is interest, or to expand his own operations.
However, different licenses from the state are required with cannabis operations that cover more than 22,000 square feet.
“This is our first step because we have to get the license,” Hanson said at the city council meeting. “Right now there is a long wait to get the license through the state so that’s why we need to get this started.”
Lindsay City Council Member Hipolito Angel Cerros said that the cannabis project would be a good business booster for the area.
“I think this a great idea,” Cerros said at the meeting. “Expanding to other businesses and occupying those other buildings — I motion to approve.”