On 4/20, Business is Growing For ACK NATURAL Written by Mike Harter
Photos by Bill Hoenk
The new local business ACK NATURAL hit a momentous milestone with little fanfare on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2021. It had nothing to do with Irish heritage, but some would argue it was a very green event, indeed. March 17 was the day Nantucket’s newest cannabis dispensary planted its first marijuana crop. Their first harvest is scheduled for May 20, and Michael “Sully” Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, is hoping doors will open to medical and recreational cannabis consumers in early June.
The multi-million dollar ACK NATURAL facility is nestled amongst other non-descript warehouses near the airport, at 17 Spearhead Drive. When you enter the building now, it looks like a doctor’s office without the magazines, but chairs have been replaced with empty jewelry cases. The real story begins through the next set of doors. As Sullivan explained, the building is segmented into many different areas, with employee access restricted to only those areas necessary for that employee to do his or her duties. Through locked doors, the real story of ACK NATURAL unfolded.
Everything screamed safety and cleanliness from that point on. As I donned a hazmat suit and continued past yet another set of locked doors, Sullivan explained the purpose served by each separate room. On the first floor we toured the money room, the trimming room, the drying room, the cannabis beverage canning room, and an employee lounge that puts any island business to shame.
ACK NATURAL will hire a significant number of people. “We are proud to offer full-time employment to 25 local Nantucketers to start, and this number could increase during the high season” said Sullivan. “It’s hard to find year-round employment on this island, and we are happy we can give back right from the start.”
The facility has been in the works for over four years, and is designed specifically for growing and dispensing marijuana. As you walk the halls, it’s obvious they’ve gone above and beyond the many bureaucratic guidelines for medical marijuana sales. It feels like a hospital without the anti-septic smell as you walk the stark white walls made entirely of PVC, virtually mold resistant. Sullivan points out shiny, impressive pieces of lab equipment as we move along. “That THC extraction machine cost $250,000, this potency testing equipment cost another hundred thousand,” he noted. This facility can do it all – cultivation, manufacturing, retail, testing.
The heart of the operation is over 20 feet underground. The entryway to the grow room holds the organic drips– each plant gets its own. The emphasis again is on cleanliness, safety, and security. There is not a speck of soil in the whole building. Each plant comes to life in its own organic, cotton candy-like mixture. Bugs are flown in every several weeks to live with and preserve the best environment for the plants.
One could see the guarded relief on Sully’s face. He has worked full time for over four years on this project, and is finally see it coming to fruition. Stay tuned for the exact opening date of ACK-NATURAL.