cannabis

ABELL, Md. – A dispensary owner and medical cannabis grower plans to take the Southern Maryland region back to its agricultural roots with a blooming industry.

Charlie Mattingly, the owner of Southern Maryland Relief, a dispensary located in Mechanicsville, has been working over the past several years to create an innovative industrial complex in St. Mary’s County. The plans consist of constructing thousands of square feet of greenhouses, farmable space, and a research center to bolster one of the most highly anticipated industries nationwide.

With all permits approved and proper prerequisites met, Mattingly has begun construction of what he says is over a $10 million project being built on his property in Seventh District.

A review of building permits and recent construction on the property shows a 52,580-square-foot building under construction at the roughly 26-acre parcel found in the 21000 block of Abell Road. The property is home to several businesses, including at least: Seven Points Agro Therapeutics (dba Prime Extracts), Story Cannabis Co, and Abell Agro.

Seven Points Agro Therapeutics, comprised of three owners, currently holds a medical cannabis processor license in Prince George’s County, as well as a stage one grower license in St. Mary’s. The company’s processing license was recently put on probation for 24 months by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission(MMCC) for “various alleged violations” back in April of 2021, which stems from administrative problems. According to the consent order, the company which holds the grower license can petition to be taken off probation after 12 months.

Mattingly said that he is glad that the MMCC sets the bar so high because it helps create a better business model.

“The MMCC is a perfect example of what every state should use, they don’t let anyone bend the rules,” Mattingly said. “We have a director of compliance, a former police officer, we offered him a job to make sure everything is in-line. Compliance is a big deal with this industry, and we take that seriously.”

The 26-acre property was transferred by Mattingly for $1.5 million in 2021 to Blue Griz LLC, according to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation website, but the business addresses which Mattingly is named to have all remained the same. Mattingly still lives at the property.

In 2019, Mattingly discussed some of his vision with TheBayNet.com for how he hoped to one day make St. Mary’s County a leader in the medical cannabis field by employing potentially over 100 people.

“Where I live is a farming community and a lot of people struggle,” Mattingly said in 2019. “I want to give these people better jobs and a better future. These are career-based jobs with benefits, not a backyard grow operation.”

After speaking with Mattingly on March 16, 2022, he reassured his commitment to bringing “career jobs with health insurance” to some of the most underserved communities in St. Mary’s County.

However, some concerns have also been raised by nearby residents of Abell, and now a St. Mary’s County Commissioner who has received some complaints.

“When I went out and visited last week, I was appalled at what is being built in the critical area,” Commissioner Mike Hewitt[R] said at the most recent commissioner’s meeting. “I understand that at many times, the Critical Area’s Commission is overbearing. But in this case, you have a group building a 52,580-square-foot, industrial building in the [buffer].”

A Critical Area Worksheet for the property which was reviewed by TheBayNet.com shows that the project plans to maximize the use of the property. When developing property in a critical area, the Department of Natural Resources says that “lot coverage is limited to 15% of the parcel or lot.” Due to the location of this property, the owners will have to work within those parameters.

Several exemptions can be permissible when operating within a critical area, one of which includes an exemption to the environmental buffer that Hewitt noted if the property is farmable or used for an environmental project.

Mattingly told TheBayNet.com that he would welcome the opportunity to sit down with Hewitt to discuss the tangible benefits he is hoping to bring to the area. Mattingly would go on to dispel what he considers “lies” that have been circulating around the construction.

In response to concerns they have received of smells, Mattingly said they have plans to utilize a “Fogco system,” which was described as a “Febreze for marijuana.” He wanted to assure his neighbors that nobody would be able to smell any hint of marijuana with their planned system.

When asked about any potential runoff concerns that watermen may have, Mattingly said that of the minimal runoff that the project will create due to a recirculating system, most of what is used on the plants is water or an entirely natural product such as a soap.

“The state has strict rules on growing it. You can’t use any pesticide or fungicide; it all has to be approved before you use it. The only things you are allowed to put on the plants are approved and natural substances,” he explained.

Of the 1.15 million square feet of space on the property, the project will utilize approximately 168,475-square-feet. This includes the 52,580-square-foot primary “grow house,” but also lists an additional greenhouse which will add an estimated 45,600-square-feet, a temporary greenhouse that will add roughly 17,488-square-feet, a razor-wire fence along with the property, and additional concrete on the property for parking and other purposes.

There is also a 2,500-square-foot administrative building on the property for medical cannabis research and breeding, designated the Charles Mattingly Research and Development Center.

Mattingly also has plans to create a berm and to plant trees to make the project less visible to a passerby.

“It will cost well over a million to do the berm and the trees, and I’m doing that as a courtesy to my neighbors,” he said.

The first phase of the project is expected to finish around July of 2022. Mattingly estimates that once it is operational, this phase will create 25-30 new jobs in the area.

If recreational cannabis is legalized in the future, the operation could expand even further.

Contact our news desk at news@thebaynet.com

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28 Comments

    1. Was this video done as a joke? Get with the times kt. If Mattingly owns that property, was approved to cultivate Marijuana on it, and put his money into it and the community either short term or long, piss off. It’s his property and his money.

      Times have changed. Get with them or be swallowed whole. That is 100% a secure and controlled version of farming for a crop that requires both.

      Side note for whomever made the video, petition for there to be a sound barrier natural or man made installed.

    2. You’re ignorant lady and don’t know what you are talking about. Mind your own business, stfu, and move along!!! It’s 2022 – cannabis is medicine!

  1. If this happens or when this happens everybody black & white who’s locked up in this county for non violent Marijuana possession or sale should be set free..

  2. Hewitt was appalled really? I’m appalled at all the bs the good ole boys have done in this county for years and got away with hypocrites

  3. Will there be easy jobs available like watering, for seniors or no experience? I’d love to get in on this.

    1. Yes, being that this is 2022 they’re gonna need lots of people to walk around with hoses and watering cans to make sure their weed grows…

  4. Who approved this crap!!!??? We don’t need a drug Mecca here. This is insane and whoever approved this should put under the jail along with e the money grubbers

    1. Won’t someone please think of the children? This will only result in more children injecting the marijuanas.

      1. Hi, Pearl!
        I completely understand your concern for the children. When you say inject the marihuana, one can only smoke, ingest, or absorb it through the skin. I am a counselor and marijuana is pretty rampant in southern Maryland already, so if kids are going to try it, they’re going to do it with or without this farm. I have been a resident in SOMD for almost 30 years and I’ve worked in addictions since Jan. 2015. I wholly appreciate your concern for our children. Thank you!

    2. Why? You aren’t sick of all the liquor stores and bars around here. We’re you sick from the days of tobacco farms which helped this county survive.
      Least we can’t on this farmer not to throw tractor implements, rubber tires, and used oil in the woods like farmers did here for a century.

  5. Gonna need to build a bigger jail and need to give troopers and deputies a raise! They will be earning it.

    1. I don’t know about the drug mecca but I do believe this quiet 7th district area will turn into a high crime area because people will be trying to break in that place all the time

  6. A drug Mecca?! Stfu. Its 2022, its weed big deal. Not to mention its his property, you do you on your property and don’t concern yourself with what others are doing on their property!

    1. Just because you own a piece of property doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. Think of what impact this makes on everything. Environment, neighbors, plus this is illegal federally. The whole thing concerning legal Marijuana is just jacked up. Cash only business to illegal in federal laws but legal in state laws. Wth. Please stop trying to push this stuff down everyone’s throat.

  7. Of course he met the requirements when his family and county friends blocked every other application for dispensary locations or growing opportunities. Just more money and power tied up to a few in this county.

  8. Look at the states that legalized pot. They are over run with homeless people and crime. Potheads rarely are upstanding people who work and raise good families and improve the neighborhood. They are takers not givers and everyone else ends up paying for their addictions just like alcoholics. St. Mary’s county will turn into Baltimore.

  9. I get that it’s his property but it’s alot of other people’s neighborhood! How did all this get approved without a hearing or input from neighboring property owners. How come some of them in the area seem not to even know what was being proposed and built in their neighborhood?

  10. Will there be anymore illegal gambling and illegal drug sales at his house still? He has local County officials, Doctors, Lawyers and Business people in his pocket. One of the biggest drug dealer to the elite in St Mary’s County. He has gotten away with this for years and everyone knows it.

  11. made in America\ grown in America. What about the stuff … to be continued on another story

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