Grow equipment from marijuana busts donated to Bay Produce

By KBJR News 1

April 3, 2014 Updated Apr 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Bay Produce in Superior grows vegetables year round in the company's greenhouses and this year, they're getting a better harvest.

A donation from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is shedding some light on the work the greenhouses do.

Bay Produce in Superior not only provides parts of the Northland with fresh tomatoes, peppers and basil throughout the year, the company also provides people with developmental disabilities a quality work environment.

And to many who work here, it's not just a job, it's a career.

Business keeps growing at the greenhouse thanks to community support. Last Fall, the produce provider received support from an unlikely source, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.

"This Spring we're hoping to have our best crop ever" said Head Grower, Richard Fisher.

That bright attitude is because of a gift from the Sheriff's office. Lights that were seized from marijuana grow operations were donated to Bay Produce.

The lights which used to grow marijuana are now being used to grow grape tomatoes. People here at Bay Produce are saying they're having a better harvest this Spring.

"With the lights giving us a healthier, stronger crop to start with" said Fisher.

The 16 lights in the tomato greenhouse are worth about seven-hundred dollars each, a big donation to the non-profit organization.

"We rely on community support, so this is a perfect example of our interaction with the community" said Executive Director of the Challenge Center, Gene Chuzles.

Bay Produce also got six smaller lights, used for seedlings and grafting, plus some other grow equipment. And another benefit...the donation takes the equipment out of circulation for those who would use it illegally.

"There was a really high likelihood that if we put the items up in a lot and auction them off, that they'd fall right back into the hands of the people that are going to use it for illegal means once again to grow marijuana" said St. Louis County Sheriff, Ross Litman.

Shedding light on an industry that brings health and happiness to the community.

The estimated value of the donated equipment is around $14,000.

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kbjr.com