When the Cannabis Control Commission was crafting the framework for the state’s legal cannabis market in 2017, some farmers pushed for regulations that would support cannabis cooperatives that would allow smaller-scale farmers to participate in the industry.
Nearly four years later, only one such cooperative has been licensed in western Massachusetts. And one company hopes to bring this model to Holyoke.
Last month, the Holyoke City Council approved a special permit for the Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative to operate at 11 Jackson St. in South Holyoke. If approved for a state license, the company would allow 26 growers to buy into the cooperative, by putting up $10,000, to run their own 500-square-foot grow room within the 22,000-square-foot facility.
“It’s for bringing in a brand new type of grower, it’s for lowering the barrier of entry,” said Brandon Gates, the company’s 38-year-old CEO. According to data from the Cannabis Control Commission, only one craft cannabis cooperative holds an approved license from the state: Roaring Glen Farms in Conway, which has received a provisional license. Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative and three other craft cannabis cooperatives have applications pending before the state.
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