CUMBERLAND – A medical cannabis processing company is expected to relocate to Mexico Farms’ North Branch Industrial Park, creating up to 20 jobs in the area, according to Allegany County officials.

The Allegany County Board of Commissioners met Thursday at the county’s office complex on Kelly Road, where they unanimously voted to grant Abdo Development a five-year lease that will sublet the premises to medical cannabis processing company Bouquet Labs.

Bouquet Labs was recently licensed by the Maryland Cannabis Commission. The Commission focused its most recent award round on companies representing women and minorities. Bouquet Labs has 90.25% women and minority interests.

“We’re very happy that developers of this format are interested in Allegany County,” said Nathan Price, the county’s project manager. “We see this as a great opportunity to increase employment.”

Price introduced Jim Abdo, President and CEO of Abdo Development, one of the largest developers in Washington, DC

“We have been in business in DC for 35 years and it has been refreshing to work with Jeff Barclay (the county director of economic development) and all of the county staff,” said Abdo. “We are very happy to come here. Tonight, here in Allegany County, we literally invested millions of dollars in a matter of hours.

“We are here for the long term and create local jobs. We are very optimistic about everything we see here. “

Abdo said he anticipates Bouquet Labs in Building 88-1, 11201 PPG Road, will start operations sometime in the first quarter of 2022.

Barclay said the building has a history in the medical cannabis industry. According to Barclay, the site was previously the home of Pharmaculture, followed by a Canadian company called Curaleaf. Barclay said these companies did not last on site, but he is optimistic that Abdo Development will be successful.

“We had a five-year contract with the previous owner (Paul Hetzel) that has just expired,” said Barclay. “The state of Maryland recently issued additional licenses to processors. These companies get more points for their application if they settle in a distressed community and (Allegany County) matches (description). “

Barclay said Abdo has already established a relationship with Bouquet Labs.

“We like the development company (Abdo) and think it’s a great opportunity for us,” said Barclay. “This is her first taste of Allegany County. We have a great relationship with them. We hope that this is your first project and that there will be more as a developer. “

Barclay said Bouquet Labs could employ around 20 people.

“Bouquet Labs will be investing in quite a bit of equipment and potentially doing (business) with a breeder in the area,” Barclay added. “We want to look to the future. We could end up with a cluster (of medical cannabis companies) and move other side companies in the sector to the region. So it’s a good opportunity. “