Lifting the cannabis ban: One dispensary's fight to change hearts & minds – Worcester Business Journal

As the chairman and CEO of Southbridge’s first cannabis dispensary, Bob Patton has had a uniquely powerful impact on the town, but it was not easily earned.

When Patton came to town proposing his Green Meadows dispensary, Southbridge had a ban on all adult-use cannabis, only allowing medical sale of marijuana. At that time, around 2018, Southbridge was one of 17 municipalities in Central Massachusetts with complete bans on recreational cannabis production and retail.

For Patton, who saw great potential in Southbridge’s old mill buildings and desire for new economic opportunity, the ban wasn’t much of a deterrent.

“We just went the full nine yards about introducing the possibility of cannabis to the town,” Patton said. “We did forums. We went to social clubs. Everything was bilingual because there’s a very large Latino community.”

In a 2019 vote, which was the third time Southbridge residents voted on the question of legalized marijuana, the town officially lifted the ban on adult-use cannabis.

Green Meadows’ perseverance in Southbridge is reflective of the marijuana industry’s experience across the state, as the once illicit and then uniquely legal product has become more normalized, accepted, and widespread since voters first legalized it in a 2016

Read More Here...