Bastrop will be home to new $8 million medical marijuana facility

One of three medical marijuana dispensaries licensed in Texas is moving to Bastrop.

Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation is building a new $8 million facility to keep up with increased demand as the state’s medical marijuana program expands. The dispensary has already started construction on the new 95,000 square foot facility in Bastrop.

"The time is right for us to make the move on it now," said Morris Denton, CEO and founder of Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation.

More than two years after purchasing a 25-acre plot of land just outside Bastrop city limits, the company has started building the brand new medical marijuana facility. "As the market continues to grow and evolve, our business needs to grow and evolve with it," Denton said.

A new Texas law, which takes effect September 1, expands the state’s current compassionate use program. For the first time, veterans with PTSD and cancer patients will be added to the list of those able to access medical marijuana. That could potentially add hundreds of thousands of new customers for dispensing organizations like Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation.

"What we’re seeing is that there’s becoming a main streaming of it, if you will, of medical cannabis in the state, which is opening up a lot more prescribers, which leads to a lot more patients and we’re starting to see that evolution occur today and we anticipate that that growth will continue into 2022, 2023," said Denton.

The law will also increase the percent of THC allowed in products from .5 to 1 percent. However, that limit is still much lower than most other states with medical marijuana programs.

"It’s hard to say whether or not there’s a boom on the horizon. Clearly with the 1 percent by weight limitation, as imposed arbitrarily by the legislature, that’s going to prevent a lot of people from wanting to participate," Denton said.

The new facility is about 13 times the size of the company’s current operation in Manchaca, but will include all the same processes.

Professionals at the facility will grow, extract, test and sell medical cannabis products, just on a much larger scale. "We anticipate that we could add several hundred jobs to Bastrop right there, just in the outskirts of the city limits," said Denton.

Still, the CEO and founder of Texas Original said there’s a lot of work to be done in the Lone Star State when it comes to medical marijuana. "Until there’s a full medical market in the State of Texas, we’re going to continue to do what we do, which is to advocate for access to this plant," Denton said.

The new facility is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

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