Marijuana retailer to hold public meeting in Northampton

  • Marijuana plants AP FILE PHOTO/MARINA RIKER

Staff Writer
Published: 7/9/2021 9:12:29 AM

NORTHAMPTON – A new marijuana dispensary is planned for North King Street, and the public will have a chance this month to meet the owners and provide feedback about the plans.

Green Guild Inc. is seeking a provisional license from the state Cannabis Control Commission to open a dispensary at 285 North King St., and part of the process is a public meeting.

“We’re looking to bring job opportunities to the city of Northampton, including people who have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs,” said Chelsea Blake, a co-owner of the new business. “We’re definitely looking to build generational wealth.”

Blake went to UMass Amherst for a year and “got a chance to really experience how inclusive Northampton is,” she said, which inspired her to open a business here.

Blake, her fiancee Randolph Lester III, and Jerome Brown, all of Springfield, are co-owners of Green Guild Inc. Blake works in finance, and Lester and Brown are entrepreneurs; the trio is entering the cannabis industry for the first time.

Green Guild Inc. applied for a license after completing the Social Equity Program, or SEP, a free technical assistance program offered by the Cannabis Control Commission. SEP participants must come from areas or communities that have been disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition, arrests and incarceration.

“Part of our focus is to help with the stigma that cannabis is bad. It’s not,” she said. “Marijuana helps. My dad has cancer and currently uses cannabis … and he’s been able to eat better and get his weight back up.”

An in-person community outreach meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 26, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Northampton Arts Center, 33 Hawley St.

The meeting is a required step to strike a host community agreement with the city. The first step was an introductory meeting with Mayor David Narkewicz, which Blake said “went very well.”

Brian Steele can be reached at
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