Freetown Is Getting a Pot Processing Plant, Thanks to Boston Beer Co.

The makers of Sam Adams once considered building a brewery in Bristol County.

Rendering of the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center

Rendering of the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center. / Americann

Freetown, a small, historic town next door to Fall River, has been waiting since 2007 for the right company to come along and build on a 52-acre site off Route 24—and that partner is apparently a medical marijuana facility developer. AmeriCann has purchased the land from owners Boston Beer Co. for $4.15 million, Boston Business Journal reports. The sale is expected to close next week.

Jim Koch and his brewing company, the makers of Sam Adams, bought the Bristol County plot for $6 million in 2007. They had studied the site and planned to build a new $200 million brewery there, but then a cheaper alternative came up. Boston Beer Co. opted to take over an existing brewery in Breinigsville, Pa., and put the Freetown land back on the market in 2008.

AmeriCann’s plan for the site is to build the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center, a cultivation and processing plant. To start, it’ll be 130,000 square feet, including greenhouses, with room to grow to 600,000 square feet. Eventually, the facility could cover up to 1 million square feet, the BBJ reports. AmeriCann plans a testing lab, a research facility, a training center and corporate offices on the site, too.

“The MMCC has the potential to emerge as the leading cannabis facility in the world and set the standard for cultivation facilities of the future,” AmeriCann promises.

The company does not grow or distribute marijuana itself, but it would lease space to licensed companies to do the dirty work, according to BBJ. Coastal Compassion will be the first tenant, presuming it gets through an ongoing process with the Department of Health.

Freetown’s planning board unanimously gave AmeriCann its OK in December, the Taunton Daily Gazette reported. The company plans to grow, process, and ship medical marijuana there, and eventually make balms, lozenges, and other infused products there, too.

The sale to AmeriCann is contingent on the Denver-based company getting the rest of its licensing in place, and Boston Beer Co. is confident that will happen, a spokesperson told the BBJ. The buyer has already paid Boston Beer Co. $525,000. AmeriCann is finalizing designs, and permitting and construction could start this year.