Grow, Gift, Repair

The Massachusetts Marketplace

“I think we’re moving rapidly into the normalization of this product and I think standard business rules will ultimately apply. It’s the companies with the best concepts, the best products and the business plans that will succeed, just like any other business,” Borghesani said.

Also key economically, he said, “I think that we are taking a different approach, one that’s centered more in the reality that this this being a product that’s always been in our communities and the wisdom of moving this product into the hands of businesses that pay taxes and check ID’s.”

Nuciforo said not to underestimate the effect of what voters have done. They essentially embraced the new place in society for marijuana by passing the recreational and medical marijuana ballot questions and when some of these fledgling companies begin operating, the effect in those communities could be transforming, he said.

“These are dollars, these are real dollars,” he said.

The legalization and stream of marijuana business proposals have led to ancillary activities exploring issues in Holyoke and other cities. The Pioneer Valley Cannabis Industry Summit II June 30 featured discussions about permitting and kinds of pot products, and a forum in May focused on using marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment.

“Holyoke has become an inviting and welcoming place for the industry,” said Marcos A. Marrero, director of the Holyoke Department of Planning and Economic Development.

“Beyond opening doors for specific companies, I think conferences and fairs like the ones we’ve had so far create an ecosystem for the industry to thrive and integrate into the local economic landscape,” he said.