Exotic elements exist behind marijuana dispensary pitched in Holyoke
HOLYOKE — One of the shareholders developed resorts in Thailand and the other used to be married to fashion designer Vera Wang.
So besides the pledges of home-delivery of pot and 15 jobs, flashes of exotica sparkle behind the company proposing a recreational marijuana dispensary at 380R Dwight St.
Canna Provisions Inc. consists of shareholders Eugene McCain of West Newton, Massachusetts and Arthur P. Becker of New York City.
As for why Holyoke, McCain said Wednesday in a phone interview: “The simple answer is that Mayor Alex Morse has been such a strong advocate of seeing the unfolding of the cannabis industry. We knew that we’d have a positive reception there.”
Other lures were Holyoke’s proximity to Interstate 91 and the Massachusetts Turnpike and the “renaissance” occurring with arts facilities like Gateway City Arts on Race Street, he said.
McCain was raised in New York, attended Eaglebrook School, a private boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and worked in real estate and developing properties in Thailand and Hawaii, he said.
“He sold high-end properties on the Big Island (in Hawaii) until Thailand beckoned, then he moved there to develop luxury resorts,” according to an Oct. 17, 2016 Boston Globe story about McCain.
McCain told The Globe he spent a decade in Thailand, establishing Cape Yamu, a luxury residential and hotel development in Phuket and Jindarin Beach Villas, a boutique luxury resort community.
McCain also led the failed push to gain passage of 2016’s Question 1, which called for permitting a second slots casino in Massachusetts.
Becker is a friend of McCain’s and a real estate developer. He was, indeed, married to Wang (“arguably the most prominent designer of bridal wear in America”: biography.com) for 23 years, McCain said. He described Becker as a “passive investor” in the pot dispensary planned here.
McCain owns 80