Massachusetts local farmers are looking to break into the state’s cannabis industry. As the state finally legalized marijuana for recreational purposes and legislators successfully reclassified the plant as an agricultural crop, they are hoping to get into the business and the potential profit.
One of the major efforts pushed forward by the farmers is the establishment of craft cooperatives where farmers will be able to band together to grow a limited amount of the plant and split the costs of production and the earnings.
The goal is to lower the barrier of entry for these entrepreneurs into the cannabis market.
The Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council also proposed another layer to the craft cooperative model which is to allow levels of licenses.
Per the council’s proposal, a micro-craft cultivation could involve 3 or 4 owners and 5,000 square feet of cultivation space. Meanwhile, a craft cooperative could include 7 or more owners and up to 15,000 square feet of grow space, which could be split among multiple farms.
The current laws for marijuana in the state is not cut for local farmers.
Massachusetts policy director for the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Dan Bensonoff believes this, saying existing laws “didn’t really allow for an open and free marketplace.”
Aside from the existing prohibition of growing marijuana outdoors, security requirements alone can easily cost around $1 million.
These security requirements have a potential to be cost-prohibitive – something that when turned into a wedge issue, can really keep out the state’s small time local players.
Cash crop industry
The massive demand for marijuana is a money magnet for a lot of those investors who have the resources to get into business. Despite being cash-strapped, the state’s local farmers hope to get into competition and benefit from the cash crop possibilities of the business by pushing for some regulatory change.