The old cotton gin on the west edge of Gunter seems an odd place to launch an economic boom. A breeze blows through broken windows and holes in its rusting, corrugated metal walls. Inside, a half-dozen or so squat machines that once separated cotton from seed sit corroding in a jumble of elevated metal walkways and busted machinery. Fistfuls of cotton, blackened by age and dirt, still rest in their bins.
High above, a buzzard ruffles its wings from its perch on the edge of a gaping hole in the roof. Visitors have driven it from the eggs it’s brooding in a tin flue near the gin’s floor, so Patrick Thomas Moran urges his guests to step outside.
“We don’t want to disturb the mamma buzzard,” he says.
A buzzard setting up a nursery on a factory’s floor is generally a good sign that the time has come to call in the wrecking crew and start looking for greener pastures, but Moran has plans to relight this old gin with a new cash crop, even if he has to ruffle a few feathers. The CEO and managing partner of AcquiFlow LLC, which bills itself as “the first open, transparent and legal Texas-based cannabis company,” wants to strip out the old machinery and build a cannabis oil production facility inside the gin’s old shell.