Wondering how to break into the cannabis industry in Massachusetts? The Botanist, a company with two dispensaries in Central Massachusetts, is hoping to reach entrepreneurs and social equity applicants to offer tips on making cannabis a career.
The Botanist, which has locations at 65 Pullman St. in Worcester and 235 Hartford Turnpike in Shrewsbury that serve medical patients and adult-use customers, is planning an educational seminar at noon on March 16.
The event is digital and the Botanist plans to share a Zoom link on social media the day of the event. Speakers plan to offer key insights, information on cannabis retail, advice on dispensary operations and other industry logistics.
“We’ve always tried to push the educational bar,” said Katie Majeski, the director of brand communications for The Botanist.
Part of the effort is to help applicants of the state Cannabis Control Commission’s social equity program break into the field, said Maura O’Brien, the compliance officer at The Botanist. The social equity program was created to provide training and technical assistance to applicants who were most impacted by the War on Drugs and marijuana prohibition, arrests and incarceration.
Massachusetts’ cannabis industry is largely white. Equity applicants have faced barriers, particularly with financing, trying to break into the industry.
“It’s a struggle. The cannabis industry definitely doesn’t make it easy for smaller companies or individuals to get into the industry so it’s also us as The Botanist to help out others not only get through the application portion,” O’Brien said, “but what we’re really focusing on right now is giving them the business tools to really start their own company.”
The seminar is also part of The Botanist’s community outreach, something required of dispensaries through the CCC, said Brad Doyle, the general manager of The Botanist in Massachusetts.
Doyle said research,