BRATTLEBORO — A vacant space formerly home to a dry cleaners on Elliot Street is envisioned to have a greener future.
At a hearing Wednesday, the DRB unanimously approved Subterra Cannabis LLC’s request for a cannabis grow facility at 89 Elliot St. The property was previously known as Lawton Dry Cleaners.
Nathan Rupert said that for the last 15 years, he’s been working his way up Elliot Street, turning around derelict buildings, starting with Boomerang then moving on to the Hazel restaurant. He sold Boomerang and still co-owns Hazel.
“Now I’m moving hopefully next door on to the dry cleaners there,” he said, estimating the building has been vacant for about eight years. “I just purchased it a couple months ago.”
Rupert plans to house a cannabis grow facility in the basement for a couple of years while he figures out what the building should be used for in the future.
“The current phase one is keeping everything in a basement and kind of starting to tackle all of the years of deferred maintenance and graffiti removal and broken windows,” he said. “And it’s a long list.”
Rupert has submitted an application to the Vermont Cannabis Control Board (CCB) for a cultivation license in less than 2,500 square feet of canopy space. He estimated the building is a little less than 8,000 square feet.
The climate-controlled basement stored “all the fur coats in Brattleboro” over the summer, Rubert said.
Regarding odor, he told the board, “there’s a wealth of carbon filtration equipment and ozone generation equipment, which allows you to really deal with the smell.”
“I don’t think any of us really want downtown the smell of cannabis,” he said. “It does sometimes anyway right now.”
The space will not be used for retail nor be open to the public. Eventually, the hope is to have some cultivation space upstairs.
Rupert said the CCB has security requirements. His plan includes alarms and fire doors.
Two employees are anticipated to be needed for the cultivation.
“If cannabis continues to be successful in Vermont probably I would end up moving the operation further out of town and turn that building into a retail for somebody,” Rupert said. “Or maybe somebody with a dream comes along.”