Grocery growers prepare to make the leap
Tom Mooney Journal Staff Writer Mooneyprojo
ATTLEBORO — Ashley Driscoll and John Irving represent a new industry in the city, one of five companies (so far) seeking to sell marijuana when the retail trade debuts in Massachusetts this summer.
To get a jump start on their new endeavor, they filed for a medical-marijuana license from the city for their proposed dispensary, The Leonard J. Irving Center, to be located in an industrial park along Frank Mossberg Drive.
Medical marijuana is already legal in Massachusetts, and under state law those dispensaries can seek licenses to convert to recreational pot later.
The partners, who have received initial city approval, say they plan to grow the most potent and diverse strains of cannabis possible to serve both medical patients and recreational users. And they already have a knack for growing indoors.
For the last several years they’ve operated 2 Friends Farm, growing bean sprouts and other supermarket varieties of micro salad greens in an old warehouse on West Street.
In their microgreen business, “We grow 23 varieties here and harvest five days a week,” says Driscoll. “We deliver five days a week, too, so we’re good at this. And it’s an easy step over to [pot] business.”
Not long ago, says Irving, “someone approached us because of what we do at the farm and said, ‘Geez, it’s too bad you guys wouldn’t do the cannabis,’ and we said, ‘Of course we’d do the cannabis if you want to pay for it.’”
And so they found an investor (they won’t say who) willing to put up “millions” of dollars in their venture.
With their investor’s help, they bought the building in the industrial park — paying cash because few banks will finance an enterprise the federal government still considers illegal.
The two partners will