Southern Tier Hemp's plans to develop a hemp processing center in Johnson City have fallen behind schedule.

The Syracuse-based company last January announced it intended to establish the facility at the former Gannett newspaper printing plant.

The massive Gannett printing presses, which had been used to produce the Press & Sun-Bulletin at the site, were removed from the building last March.

Part of a custom-built German printing press outside the former Johnson City Gannett plant on March 21, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Since then, there has been no construction activity observed at the 97,000-square-foot complex.

Southern Tier Hemp officials had expected renovation work would start last spring with the facility being operational in time for this year's hemp harvest.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said work on the project apparently has been delayed because of some sort of deed restriction on the use of the property. She said she's "concerned about the project" because the issue has yet to be resolved.

Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie also was aware that something involving a deed was holding up the project. He said although he hasn't spoken with Southern Tier Hemp CEO Michael Falcone about the proposed facility, he is "still assuming it's moving forward."

The lights were on but there was no activity at the former Gannett printing plant on October 4, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Representatives of Southern Tier Hemp have not responded to requests for comment on the project. The company had been awarded a $650,000 state grant to develop the facility.

While work on the Johnson City hemp operation is on hold, construction operations continue at the planned "hemp park" being developed by Canopy Growth in Kirkwood. The Canadian company is converting a former Felchar Manufacturing site on Pine Camp Road. That facility is expected to begin operating next year.

Construction crews were at the planned Canopy Growth "hemp park" in Kirkwood on October 4, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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