Family poised to bring medical cannabis to area
Leif Olsen, consultant for Grow West MD LLC, left, and Andrew Valois, a founding member of the company, take questions from those attending an event Saturday in McHenry.  
CUMBERLAND — Grow West LLC received conditional approval Monday to move forward with its medical cannabis growing facility in Grantsville.

Members of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission — the body overseeing the rollout of the industry in Maryland — voted unanimously to allow the company to proceed if it installs a security fence around the facility.

Grow West is owned by the Valois family of Frederick County. They were selected for a stage one medical cannabis growing license by the state commission in August 2016. The license was for a Garrett County location. After considering sites at Keyser’s Ridge, Accident and Oakland, Grow West officials settled on a site along U.S. Route 40 at Grantsville.

Members of the Valois family and other staff and investors were on hand for Monday’s meeting held in Howard County. The vote by the commission was greeted with a round of applause from Grow West supporters.

Bill Valentine, Allegany County commissioner, remained cautious. He said Grow West still must address the fence requirement.

“They haven’t actually approved them,” said Valentine. “They have to be reinspected around mid-September.”

Grow West has also rented space at the former Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. at the Riverside Industrial Park in Cumberland. The company is planning to expand to that site in the future.

The Allegany County Commission entered in late June a lease-to-own agreement with the company for the former Kelly site.

“They will still have to be approved by the (medical marijuana) commission to come into Allegany County,” Valentine said. “The commission will have final say.”

The expansive facility was last used by Biederlack of Maryland as a warehouse and distribution center.

Grow West has established a second company — Manticorp, LLC — for its Allegany County venture.

Jake Shade, county commission president, said recently the medical cannabis growing operation would be a positive for Cumberland.

“If they are approved (by the commission), they can move the license to Allegany County,” said Shade. “They plan on coming to Cumberland if possible. It will be good for the local economy.”