Local entrepreneurs join rest of state in building new industry

By Michael Bonner and Montana Samuels

—Marijuana is growing.

In November of 2016, Massachusetts voters legalized adult-use marijuana. Since that time the wheels to retail cannabis outlets have been turning, including on the SouthCoast.

Residents still can’t purchase adult-use marijuana and New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell requested and the council approved a moratorium that would prohibit retail marijuana outlets from opening until the end of September at the latest.

Don’t be fooled, though, behind the scenes the blue prints have been sketched and foundations have been laid for entrepreneurs.

“This industry is an entrepreneur’s dream. From a business perspective, there’s opportunity everywhere,” said BASK President of the Board Tim Keogh.

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission has already approved priority license applications for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and economic empowerment priority applicants.

The SouthCoast has one of each.

Bask, in Fairhaven, is an RMD, already approved to provide medical marijuana. New Bedford’s Tree Beard’s application approval had to meet a list of criteria to qualify for economic empowerment.

And then there’s entrepreneurs orbiting the industry like the founders of Home Grown Academy. Paul Brennan and Jason Cullinan began education courses on all things cannabis in January.

“Whether it’s on the drug development side, or if you want to go out and dress up like a green Santa Claus and hand out cannabis cookies or roll a 100-foot long joint.” said Keogh. “Wherever you choose to allocate your time and effort and whatever excites you, there’s opportunity everywhere.”

BASK

Tim Keogh chuckled as he reminisced back to what is now his nearly decade long involvement in the marijuana industry.

“I have to dig back in the depths,” he said.

As the President of the Board at BASK, Inc. Keogh was a member of

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