US (MA): Former inmate launches outdoor cannabis farm

Just over a decade ago, Boey Bertold was in prison at MCI-Concord, the result of being targeted by a combined operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Natick Police Department that saw him arrested for trafficking 293 pounds of cannabis. 

Today, Bertold and his partner, Lisa Mauriello, run the first social equity-owned outdoor cannabis farm on the entire East Coast, something that would have been completely unimaginable a decade ago for a variety of reasons.  

Back in 2007, when he was first arrested and charged, it was obvious that taking 293 pounds of cannabis off the streets wasn’t going to stop anybody from smoking cannabis. Even the police spokesman at the time seemed to admit it as much, telling the media that even though it was the largest cannabis bust in Natick’s history, Bertold was just a middleman. 

Due to this prior cannabis-related conviction, Bertold was eligible to join the state’s social equity program. This detail from his past that had previously kept him out of the legal industry now presented him with a unique opportunity to join it, thanks to the Cannabis Control Commission's focus on creating sustainable pathways into the cannabis industry.

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