Check River, Stream Levels Near You

How the Future of Medical Marijuana Is Powered by Our Coal Region Past

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP -- There's a new industry on the horizon in Northumberland County. It's one that promises to be green and completely change a coal-mining community for the better.

For years, the Mt. Carmel Cogen, Inc. power plant in Northumberland County has turned culm into electricity. Culm is the waste product of decades of coal mining. However, keeping the place running is getting more and more difficult.

"The financial strain on the energy business over the past three to four years has really been very severe, so the economics of these plants has been tough to maintain as far as maintenance and keeping the plants going," said Ken Pollock, Mt. Carmel Cogen, Inc.

Fifty people work at the plant, making it the biggest employer in the area. It's a coal-mining region that many say has seen better days.

But there's a new plan that could save the plant and the entire community--an $8 to $10 million investment called Power Plant Medicinal.

"It's going to be a great project. There's a lot of synergies between the cogen plant and power plant medicinal where we'll be able to provide them with water, electricity, carbon dioxide from our stack. It'll be a win-win for both companies," said Ed Missal, Mt. Carmel Cogen, Inc.

Power Plant Medicinal is a new company associated with the cogen plant. Company officials have applied for a permit to grow and process marijuana for medical use.

The future, they say is bright. And it's green.

"Right now, we're looking at 60 plus jobs in addition to the 50 we already have. They're skilled, high-paying positions that will be coming to the area. They will be local positions. People won't need prior experience," said Megan Millo, Power Plant Medicinal.

If the permit is granted, the new medical marijuana facility will be built right next to the power plant where company officials say they'll use the coal waste of the past to power the future.

"Everyone has been really supportive. Everyone thinks it's a really good project. It's going to help keep the jobs that we have stable, keep the plant running for a long time, and provide more jobs and people and local industry," Missal said.

Medical marijuana doesn't come without some controversy. Some doctors want more research to prove it helps treat serious conditions.

Controversy aside, the people with Power Plant Medicinal say having a marijuana facility here will seriously boost the local economy and change the face of this coal region.

"It's bringing this area out of the small coal-mining town that it was, and it's making it bigger and better and more bright," Millo said.

The plan is to keep the marijuana facility secure with steel fencing, 24-hour surveillance, and security guards.

The state is expected to approve permits by July and hopes to have medical marijuana facilities up and running by the middle of next year.

If approved, Power Plant Medicinal officials say the facility near Mount Carmel will be ready by then.


  • Real Man

    All I want to do is smoke my bong legally. Why do we have to go through this medical Marijuana charade? Maybe I can find a Doctor to give me a prescription for my hemorrhoids. What a bunch of BS. Wake me up at 4:20.

  • Justagirl

    Wait a minute…the mj plants must be up and running this year…as the medical mj bill has to be fully implemented by April 2018…meaning those who qualify have access to the drug.. Unless everyone’s pa mj card is accepted in other states….pa is dragging their feet on this issue so they can figure out how to determine what the legal limit by nano grams makes someone dui….right now it’s 5 nano grams or less….employment screenings are 50 nano grams to be flagged as an mj user to give a comparison. Write your rep, state senator.

  • It Works!!

    As long as you’re not growing in the culm that’s just fine with me. and YES, Cannabis does treat much more so than pharmaceuticals..Put my Crohns in Remission now for 5 years..NO MEDICATIONS!!


    I wonder wheat kind of noxious emissions this will spew out into our environment? I suppose it doesn’t really matter since the election of Supreme Leader President Trump will bring rapture upon us very soon; trashing the planet will only hurt the undesirables left behind (BLM goons, illegals, fat people). As long as my property values don’t suffer and doesn’t attract unsavory folks to our community we all should support this great capitalist venture. Say no to communisim!

  • Conroy

    Long overdue, love the idea. But I’m deep in a red state now. “Huck huck smoking the devil weed ain’t gods will huck huck” or if you want to be a more eloquent hick and say no you could put it like “warningfakenews”puts it. Please support this people. It can be taxed and your taxes will stop going up from the boon this would provide for not just people that need it but the local economy as well.

  • WarningFakeNews

    Normally, one should credit copy and pastes with a source.

    If my guess is correct.

  • WarningFakeNews

    The state salivates at the idea that they could gain taxes and fees from this industry, but the only way to do that is to keep the growing and possessing illegal for people without their approval. So, in other words, if there IS medicinal value, those suffering would need to pony up the money, or we all do through higher insurance rates- and they still get to stuff the prisons full of people for possession. What’s next? Safe heroin provided by the government, or with the government’s approval and taxation?

    • Givemeabreak

      It is clear with your statement; “If there Is medicinal value”, you do not understand this. It has been proven that there is, fact. It has been proven to alleviate MS, cerebral paulsey symptoms, and it changes the way the brain perceives pain as per an Oxford university study. The benefits go on and on and on if you actually want to do some real research.
      The real problem is the money. You can’t copyright protect a plant and if you can’t do that than the pharmaceutical companies loose out. That’s why they have been trying to synthesize the THC chemical so they can put it in a pill form and charge a bunch of money for it when you could just grow an herb that would do the same thing. An herb like this is very dangerous to profits. It would eliminate so many meds it will put a real hurt on their legal/illegal drug business. I include illegal because they have known for years and tried to keep this secret from the American people. In my opinion they have all committed crimes against humanity for the almighty dollar and should be tried for it. They watched sick people suffer with meds that were ineffective and caused terrible side effects when they knew better.
      Also Oxycodone is legal heroin and you are paying for it if you didn’t already know. This pain med is very addictive as are most. Legal drugs now kill more people a year than the illegal drugs. Do you think that is all done by accident? The more people get addicted, the more they consume, the more insurance companies need to pay out which increases yours and my rate.
      Now why hasn’t D.C. done anything about this? Because they love big pharma’s money. Show me the money! There is us and them and none of them give a damn about us unless we have the money to play.

      • WarningFakeNews

        I understand that people conducting research often have other agendas. There is no better place to look for that than the anthropologic global warming myth and ‘scientists’ who fudge the data to get the conclusions that drive their political agenda of globalization and wealth redistribution. If they aren’t in it for the politics, then it’s greed for research grants from a government wanting a certain result for their political agenda.

        Medicinal marijuana is just a means to the end of heavily taxed recreational use, and for that they need to keep a tight lid on who can grow it. It solves none of the underlying legal issues of filling prisons with users.

      • lkreu

        Couldn’t agree more – I for one know the effects – I had ovarian cancer (in remission now) it helped with the side effects of the chemotherapy – told all my doctors I smoked it – also helps with the appetite and mental state. I guess “warningfakenews” can’t do a little research on his own. Not the brightest star in the sky –

      • magicmikexxsm

        GIVEMEABREAK I read an artical about the long term effects of using weed… does more harm to the body and brain in the long run say smoking it everyday for 5 10 20 30 years…
        Sure if you have one of the med cond. you say yes it does help, but for the people who smoke it just to get high 2 3 4 5 times a day or more, for their whole life…….I’d hate to be them….

    • Givemeabreak

      Colorado doesn’t keep it illegal to grow as you stated. It doesn’t need to be illegal to grow. Even your own comment says it’s only about the money.
      “The state salivates at the idea that they could gain taxes and fees from this industry, but the only way to do that is to keep the growing and possessing illegal for people without their approval”.

      Here are the laws in CO

      Adults Only

      You must be 21 years of age or older to legally possess or grow marijuana for recreational use in Colorado. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-18-406.) Assuming you are of age, you can drop those seeds in the planters provided you also abide by the rules below.
      Plant Limit

      You may grow no more than six plants and no more than three of those can be mature plants. (Colo. Const. amend. 64.) A mature plant is defined as a flowering plant. Colorado law also requires that the plants be grown in an enclosed, locked space that is not “open” or “public.”
      Drug Limit

      You can legally possess no more than one ounce of marijuana. So, if you happen to have a bumper crop, be sure to have no more than one ounce of the drug in your possession at any given time. However, unless you are a licensed retail marijuana establishment, you cannot legally sell the surplus!
      Cannot Sell, but Gifting is Legal

      Recreational marijuana may be legally sold only by licensed establishments. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-18-406.) Sale by anyone else is a crime and is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount sold. The licensing procedure involves an application, testing, inspections, fees, and many other steps.
      The good news is that you can give up to an ounce of your homegrown to a friend who is 21 or older. Many people would prefer an ounce of bud to all those excess zucchinis you try to foist off on them in the summer. Might make a fun stocking stuffer at the holidays (“Santa, what’s that in you corncob pipe?”).
      Have Fun; Stay Legal

      Although you can grow marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, there are several restrictions, as you see. Get familiar with them and follow the rules.

      • lkreu

        You can’t argue with stupid – notice the comment on climate change – he’s a science denier – so no matter what you say its falling on deaf ears.

      • WarningFakeNews

        Science has no use for researchers who fudge data to obtain a particular result, and never objects to the data and conclusions being scrutinized and duplicated in independent studies. Anthropomorphic climate change is bogus and created as a means to the end of globalization and redistribution and nothing more.

        Instead of welcoming debate and alternative theories, the charlatans pushing this agenda want to OUTLAW it. That’s not science, that’s not even American freedom of speech, that’s communist tactics through and through.

Comments are closed.