Greenfield Recorder | ‘The growth is still there’: Commissioner reflects on cannabis industry in western Mass.
The state cannabis control commissioner who calls western Massachusetts his home says legalization of adult-use marijuana in 2016 has breathed economic life into the state in the form of employment opportunities and rehabilitation of old buildings that had lain dormant for years.
Bruce Stebbins, an East Longmeadow native, said he is impressed by the number of dispensaries and cultivation facilities reclaiming abandoned industrial space as Massachusetts fosters a healthy and vibrant cannabis community. Voters opted in November 2016 to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana. Sales by licensed dealers became legal two years later.
“It’s certainly drawing some investment,” he said.
Of the 263 marijuana establishments in the state, 22 are in Hampshire County, while 7 are in Franklin County and 12 are in Hampden County. Of that 263, there are 149 retailers, 52 cultivators, 47 product manufacturers, four microbusinesses, four independent testing laboratories and two marijuana delivery couriers.
“I think we’re still seeing strong growth. We’re giving final licenses and orders to commence operations,” Stebbins said, adding that he gets status updates almost daily. “The growth is still there. I think it’s reflected in the sales figures we’re seeing.”
Subscribe for updates from the Cannabis Control Commission.