ELLENVILLE – The 91-acre property on the edge of the village used to hold a big factory with lots of workers, used for decades to make TV antennas and then pocket and hunting knives.

All that remains today are large concrete slabs after the Schrade knife factory was torn down in 2016, a dozen years after it closed. But New York’s flowering cannabis industry could soon revive the derelict site and jobs that evaporated there.

The Wawarsing Planning Board has scheduled a Jan. 18 public hearing on plans to build a 380,000-square-foot building where marijuana would be grown, turned into various cannabis products and stored for wholesale distribution. The developer is Cresco Labs, a Chicago-based company that makes and sells marijuana in 10 states.

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In documents submitted to the town, Cresco forecast the facility ultimately could employ as many as 679 people. That is even higher than the 300 to 400 potential jobs that Ulster County and local officials celebrated when they announced Cresco’s interest in the Schrade site at a press conference in August.

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