MRCC

Grow, Gift, Repair

#MUNICIPAL #GUIDANCE: Northampton

Pinsonnault said the process has been challenging. She had to research the law and licensing process herself. She would read through the state marijuana law over and over, highlighting relevant passages. She made phone calls to various town officials to figure out what was required.

“I didn’t have a group of lawyers writing my business plan, my operating policies, or any other necessary documents in the beginning,” Pinsonnault said. “Unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets, you’re basically on your own.”

Pinsonnault and Bode struggled to find a location, confronting municipal bans and building owners who, Pinsonnault said, “don’t want anything to do with you once you as much as say the word ‘marijuana.’” She said some landlords do not want to rent to a marijuana business; others charge exorbitant prices. Ultimately, the couple found a space in Northampton.

Northampton has been among the cities in Massachusetts that are the most open to marijuana businesses. One of the first two recreational marijuana stores in the state opened in Northampton. Mayor David Narkewicz has said he wants to treat marijuana businesses the same as any other business.