Company with local ties opens new cannabis design division
— Paul Risk Construction, a family-owned commercial construction company with Cecil County ties, announced this week the creation of a new division to focus on building medical marijuana facilities in the mid-Atlantic region.
The firm is focusing on Pennsylvania and Maryland right now, but hopes to expand into adjacent states as the demand increases.
The design build division’s leaders have backgrounds in construction, greenhouse growing and cannabis production. They include Justin Wisniewski, president; Patrick Clark, vice president of construction, and Trey Pyfer, vice president of horticulture.
The new firm doesn’t have any signed contracts yet, but is already pricing a grower/processor facility for one of Maryland’s 15 licensees. Maryland legalized medical marijuana in 2014 and Pennsylvania passed it in 2016.
“We think Pennsylvania will be awarding 25 licenses for grower/processors in early 2017,” said Justin Wisniewski, president of Cannabis Design Build.
Wisniewski, who grew up in Lititz, Pa., lived in California for five years and managed organic cannabis production from seed to sale, before returning to Lancaster County to be close to family.
“We’re getting a lot of interest since
opening,” he said.
Donald J. Risk, who took over as president of Paul Risk Construction from his father Steve Risk in February, got interested in focusing on the cannabis industry earlier this year.
“We saw a huge opportunity in this new industry,” Risk said. “But, we’re not just focused on this as an investment opportunity for us, we know this is a complex industry and are dedicated to ensuring the facilities are built the right way and with respect for the community.”
Risk says the team he has put in place to run the new business has expertise and passion for the mission.
“I’ve seen friends and loved ones suffer from cancer, intractable pain and other maladies that could be relieved through the use of cannabis,” Wisniewski said. “It’s my goal to educate the community about how we can hold true to our values, while providing relief to those that are suffering.”
The new team at Cannabis Design Build sees the company evolving as technology changes.
“We’re also exploring the hemp market,” Wisniewski said.
Paul Risk Construction is an 83-year-old firm based in Quarryville. Several years ago, Paul Risk Associates had an office on Main Street in Port Deposit and at one time Steve Risk had a proposal to redevelop the Tome School into a continuing care facility, though those plans ultimately fell through and the site is now pursuing a new direction.