HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Cannabis investors are flocking to Holyoke.
With upwards of 40 licenses for marijuana cultivation and dispensary operations, Western Mass News got answers about what makes this community so, desirable for this industry.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Canna Provisions CEO Meg Sanders said.
It's a budding business in Holyoke. Sanders said the marijuana dispensary's business has been growing every month.
The state’s Cannabis Control Commission has issued more than 40 provisional licenses to businesses in Holyoke, which is the most per capita out of any community in Massachusetts.
“We just believe and want to be a part of rebuilding Holyoke to the glory it had before,” Sanders explained.
Canna Provisions is one of the many dispensaries in the city that opened inside an old paper mill.
“Many of them haven’t been occupied in years and years and years, and the love that they need in order to get them functional is a very big number, but they’re worth it,” Sanders said.
Sanders said Canna Provisions wanted to focus on telling the story of the city by honoring the architecture already in place.
“I really love being able to hold the history of a town by making sure that these buildings are restored,” Sanders added.
She said one of the main things that drew their company to Holyoke is Mayor Alex Morse's welcoming approach to the cannabis industry.
“The mayor and the town want us to be there. That's what makes Holyoke so desirable,” Sanders said.
This is something Morse said he's pushed for since the start of his administration.
“Back in 2016, I was the first and the only mayor in the state to come out and support the legalization of the recreational use marijuana,” Morse said.
The mayor also pointed to the city’s low utility costs as an appeal to manufacturers.
“The cost of doing business here overall is cheaper because we have cheaper gas and electric rates,” Morse explained.
He's hoping the industry will help revitalize the city.
“It’s creating jobs, it’s bringing buildings back to life, it’s securing our neighborhoods, and employing local residents,” Morse said.