The Martinsburg Board of Zoning Appeals approved the special exception of a hemp-processing facility to be located at 119-121 East Race Street in downtown Martinsburg.
The building in question use to be the Union Sales Dodge Company, and SchoolHouseHemp LLC’s proposed facility and retail store met initial pushback from boardmember Brenda Casabona, who stated the project does not align with Martinsburg’s Comprehensive Development Plan.
“I think its a great business,” said Casabona. “I just would prefer to see it in another location.”
However, City Attorney, Kin Sayre, explained that in order for the proposal to meet the development plan, a retail front would be required.
“The comprehensive plan that was put forth is a suggestion, it does suggest a mixed-use including the retail,” said Sayre.
Now apart from the retail section, Dennis Cates, of SchoolHouseHemp LLC., says the facility will also include a growing and processing portion for partnering farmers to utilize.
“And it will be a hub of sorts for farmers in the area and people interested in getting involved in the hemp industry,” said Cates.
Sayre amended the proposal to require the facility and partnering farmers to be in compliance with the West Virginia Industrial Hemp Act, for the facility to include a retail section and for the lease to change in accordance to the zoning.
Cates hopes to start operations sometime in May.