Urban Grown Inc. is led by longtime University of Massachusetts Amherst professor of agronomy Stephen Herbert. He is partnered with Northampton attorney Michael Cutler, who helped to draft the initial ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana, and Scott Soares, the former Massachusetts agriculture commissioner who’s now consulting in this field.
The board particularly likes that Herbert will be partnering with local farmer Scott Hutkoski, who has greenhouses at his Long Plain Farm on Christian Lane.
Each greenhouse is about 3,000 square feet and the license for which Herbert is applying allows him to grow in up to 10,000 square feet. If he wants to expand the business, Palmer-Fortune said the business will have to come back for a new host agreement.
The board emphasized the importance for his business to provide education in town. Herbert initially contested the idea, saying, “This should be more directed to retail stores than cultivation.”
Edwards argued otherwise, stating, “We are an agricultural community.”
“This is a brand new ballgame,” Edwards said. “We need to make sure the children and youth of not just Whately but the surrounding communities understand the hazards of marijuana consumption.”