Grow, Gift, Repair

Another Recap of State House News event

Rob Hunt, co-founder of the marijuana consultancy Shingle Hill, warned that as producers ramp up to meet demand, they risk flooding the market and driving down prices.

“You could do the entire production for the state of Massachusetts in one town,” Hunt told the audience at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s auditorium in Boston. Hunt said he thinks it is smart not to “immediately hand out licenses to everyone,” and said Massachusetts has a chance to grow the market in a managed fashion.

While Hunt said policymakers should focus first on driving illicit pot dealers out of business by not overly taxing the legal market, Sonia Espinosa, co-founder of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, said those dealers should be encouraged to transition into the legal marijuana sector.

“I like to think of it as a migration,” Hunt agreed. Hunt described himself as the “quintessential” example of someone migrating from the illicit world – “selling pounds on Dead tour” 25 years ago – to a key figure in regulated marijuana enterprises.

Cooper approached the marijuana business from the other perspective, joining Revolutionary after spending the first part of his career in other businesses, including founding Transnational Communications.

“I wasn’t a cannabis guy. Experimented like everybody else did, but since I’m CEO of a company I sorta have to understand what we’re doing in some aspects, so I’ve been doing a ton of experimenting,” Cooper said. “Let me tell you, it is awesome.”

Shaleen Title, who is a member of the Cannabis Control Commission, said she hopes the public stays engaged in the regulation of marijuana and public sentiment will play a role in how the commission proceeds with cannabis cafes and other forms of social consumption.

“I am very worried about the public losing interest,” Title said. She said she expects a final decision on social consumption by February.