According to a Boston Business Journal analysis of recreational marijuana licenses through July 9, the city of Holyoke leads all others with 40 completed applications to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, more than any other municipality in the Commonwealth and representing 5% of the 841 total licenses received to date. This is no coincidence, as the city has fully embraced the cannabis trade from the start. With city residents voting affirmatively 57% in favor of cannabis, the Mayor’s backing, and the City Council approving a streamlined system of approving host community agreements with a standard template that can be approved in a day, and approving zoning laws to become more marijuana-friendly, Holyoke is starting to see investments from the cannabis industry. With some of the cheapest electrical rates and available industrial space, Holyoke is an attractive location for companies looking to locate large cultivation or manufacturing plants in the city.

In 2019, Massachusetts saw 15% job growth in the legal cannabis industry and $404 million in legal cannabis sales. To encourage this job growth, Holyoke Community College (HCC) and the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) created the Cannabis Education Center last fall, to provide education, training, and other business resources to individuals in the region who want to work in the cannabis industry. The industry is also producing opportunities for other businesses that are needed to support the growing industry such as the building trades and professional services.

There is a very positive outlook for Holyoke as more cannabis businesses open their doors and invest in the city. For additional news articles related to the growing cannabis industry in Western Massachusetts, click on the following links:

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