Pictured: Rendering of proposed GenCanna facility at 322 North 3rd Street
At its September 17 meeting, the Paducah Planning Commission approved the application by GenCanna Global USA, Inc. for a light industrial operation at 322 North 3rd Street. This is the 120,000 square foot facility formerly occupied by Amerisource Bergen. GenCanna manufactures hemp-derived products.
The City has incorporated several conditions for GenCanna into the special use permit application including improving the landscaping and tree canopy around the building, incorporating murals on the building’s faces, using no more than 10 percent of the building for warehousing, and opening a retail facility of no less than 5000 square feet which will be open to the public a minimum of five days per week. The remainder of the building would be comprised of offices and research and manufacturing space. The current zone is B-3, General Business Zone, which allows light industrial operations through Planning Commission approval.
City Manager Jim Arndt says, “I applaud GenCanna for going above and beyond in their plans to incorporate the building into our riverfront and downtown landscape through murals, tree, and landscaping.”
GenCanna President Steve Bevan says, “What we are hoping to do in downtown Paducah is to establish a retail presence to show off the products that we manufacture for others, the many different brands. We want to literally bring together a storefront full of brands with Kentucky farmers’ hemp-derived products contained in them.”
Bevan says he is meeting with farmers around Western Kentucky. He adds, “We are just amazed by the land and farms. It’s important that we farm with family farmers. There’s a great opportunity for Kentucky to re-capture some of its past hemp heritage in a big way. But at the same time, there are some high value products we want to manufacture in downtown from local farms nearby.”
Currently, GenCanna is working through the purchase process for the facility. The next steps with the City would involve the submitting of development plans to the Planning Department which would require approval by the Paducah Planning Commission.