Constructing inexperienced in Arkansas: contractor and safety agency uncover medical marijuana area of interest

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A new sort of inexperienced development has introduced some sudden enterprise to 1 Central Arkansas firm. 

HARCO Constructors, a family-owned common contractor in Maumelle, has constructed two medical marijuana cultivation services and three dispensaries. When a 3rd cultivation facility is accomplished this 12 months, HARCO can have constructed three of the state’s most eight cultivation services. 

The tasks have been good for enterprise on the agency, but it surely’s not one thing challenge supervisor Ashton Harper ever imagined he’d be concerned in. 

“Not in my wildest goals,” mentioned Harper, son of one of many firm founders. 

HARCO’s first medical marijuana challenge was the cultivation facility for Pure State Medicinals in White Corridor. The challenge was a studying expertise, Harper mentioned. 

Harper likens the cultivation tasks to constructing a “climate-controlled rainforest inside a steel constructing” with expertise that may management the temperature and humidity to a fraction of a level. 

When state regulators awarded the primary licenses for medical marijuana cultivation services in 2018, HARCO Constructors was out of luck. Not one of the candidates who had deliberate to make use of them for development had been awarded a license, however a few of the candidates that did obtain licenses had been impressed with HARCO and heard good issues about them from the opposite candidates. 

“That sort of acquired our foot within the door and we hit the bottom operating from there,” Harper mentioned.

Based by brothers Chuck and Keith Harper in 1985, HARCO is a common contractor with about 25 workers at its Maumelle workplace. The corporate takes the lead on development tasks however hires subcontractors to carry out practically the entire trades. Because the challenge supervisor, Harper retains a detailed eye on the timeline and the funds. 

“The central focus is getting the shopper in operation as rapidly as potential and staying inside funds,” he mentioned.

The buildings include state-of-the-art techniques for heating, air flow and air con and have excessive electrical calls for. 

“These cultivation services require fairly a bit extra juice or energy than your typical constructing would,” Harper mentioned. 

HARCO has additionally constructed the Delta Medical Hashish Firm cultivation facility in Newport, Purspirit Hashish Firm dispensary in Fayetteville, Delta Hashish Firm dispensary in West Memphis and Customized Hashish in Alexander. A few of the tasks have been renovations, whereas others have been new builds.

The Carpenter Farms Medical Group cultivation facility ought to be accomplished in two or three months, in line with proprietor Abraham Carpenter Jr. HARCO’s expertise in constructing medical marijuana services has been a profit to constructing the brand new facility in Grady, in line with Carpenter. 

“[HARCO’s experience] is definitely a plus, as a result of they’re capable of determine any potential issues,” Carpenter mentioned. 

When Ashton Harper’s father informed him he’d be engaged on a marijuana challenge, he thought his dad was joking, however he mentioned doing development within the new trade has made for fascinating work and it’s introduced in lots of new enterprise to the corporate. 

“It’s very thrilling to go to work every single day,” Harper mentioned. “Having the ability to construct a medical marijuana cultivation facility is an fascinating factor to get to do every single day and I really like my job.” 

Safety 

One of the superior options of the state’s medical marijuana services is the safety. 

The state Alcoholic Beverage Management Division locations strict safety necessities on the services. A lot of the ability should be underneath fixed video surveillance, together with “any room used to develop, course of, manufacture or retailer marijuana,” in line with ABC rules. Which means each sq. foot of the develop operation should be seen by cameras always. 

Whereas constructing their first facility for Pure State Medicinals, Harper mentioned he discovered simply how complete the surveillance cameras should be. 

“[ABC agents] need to stroll across the whole constructing and never be misplaced [by surveillance cameras],” Harper mentioned. “There can’t be one foot the place they aren’t surveilled by the cameras.” 

Progressive Applied sciences, a Memphis-based electrical and safety agency with workplaces in Sherwood and Rogers, has labored with greater than 5 Arkansas medical marijuana services, in line with Rodney Jackson who works in enterprise improvement for the corporate. (Jackson mentioned he couldn’t title the precise services due to nondisclosure agreements). 

The corporate has helped meet the safety wants of the services in addition to set up the expertise. Jackson mentioned Arkansas has strict safety necessities for medical marijuana services however developments in expertise like wide-angle lenses and 360-degree cameras have made it simpler to fulfill these necessities. 

“We will drop a 360 digital camera in a room and canopy each inch of the room,” Jackson mentioned. The safety wants of Arkansas’s marijuana services aren’t essentially completely different from Progressive’s different shoppers, reminiscent of colleges, however they do require much more of it, Jackson mentioned. As an example, marijuana services want safety cameras that run continually reasonably than solely once they detect movement. The services even have many intrusion-sensing gadgets, reminiscent of glass break sensors and cameras, so the detection of an intruder can be instantaneous. 

The security measures required by ABC additionally embody biometric information, reminiscent of fingerprints, as a part of entry management throughout the services, Jackson mentioned. 

“Arkansas services, from what I’ve seen all through the nation, are most likely safer than another state,” Jackson mentioned. “These services are very safe.”  

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