A Letter to Barnstable: We're Here to Help with Smart & Safe Cannabis Zoning
It's 2018, a New Year, one that brings a new, legal recreational cannabis industry to Massachusetts. Are we ready on the Cape? That's not quite clear, but Barnstable appears to be taking the smart & safe approach to regulating cannabis, maximizing benefits and minimizing risks through proper zoning.
We've offered to help, submitting this letter officially at Town Council Jan 19th.
Dear Barnstable Council Members,
Thank you for taking the time to hear from my group, RegulateCapeCod.org. We are a local, Cape-based organization of residents, business people, former law enforcement and local government officials, advocating for a community-minded approach to cannabis regulation.
As we all are well-aware, a new industry is being formed around cannabis. Currently, on average, Massachusetts medical dispensaries generate $7 million in sales annually. An impressive figure when you realize the customer base is only 43.5k registered patients statewide. With the move to recreational, analysts predict that the Massachusetts customer base will exceed 800k, which will drive $450 million in legal cannabis sales in 2018, generating over $90 million in state and local taxes in its first, partial year.
Analysts also agree this industry will innovate and grow fast. By 2021, it’s estimated the Massachusetts industry will surpass $1.2 billion in sales annually, generating $240 million in state and local tax revenue.
It is our mission to help Barnstable plan for that growth and innovation, which will surely be rapid. Based on our extensive research and industry collaborations, it is clear this will be an exponential expansion, with technology fueling rapid innovation & new business development.
It is our hope that the town of Barnstable will take a proactive approach, setting up “smart and safe” zoning regulations which will give our communities first-mover advantage, placing the Cape in a unique position to become a regional industry hub. To maximize local economic benefits, it is critical that we create zones where those diverse business types can thrive in partnership with the surrounding community. Think “small footprint, big positive impact” as you begin to explore ideas beyond the “pot shop” and into the lesser known areas of this new industry:
Independent testing facilities (highly skilled jobs created)
Product manufacturing (many ancillary products need to be developed)
Technology startups (software and hardware for a new industry)
Art & wellness studios (with on-premise consumption / education)
Canna-tourism (hotels, motels, B&Bs, farms, etc.)
RegulateCapeCod.org is dedicated to making this possible here on the Cape, for the future of the Cape. We do need the tax revenue, but most importantly we need the jobs. Not just any jobs, but the type of employment that requires education. This will help keep our kids more engaged in school, coming back to live here as young professionals, and ultimately raising their families here with the local economic opportunities to support them.
Please reach out to us if we can assist in any way. We’re a diverse group, including tech savvy young professionals, community builders, business owners, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, retired law enforcement and town administration, any of whom would be more than happy to devote volunteer time to:
Organize public forums to share ideas with the community & industry
Conduct specific research; analyze feedback from shared ideas
Schedule workshops/road trips to tour facilities and meet with industry experts
Let’s work together to show the rest of the state how a “smart and safe” approach to cannabis zoning can benefit all stakeholders, helping to grow an industry and a regional economy.
If you want to stay up-to-date on Barnstable, or help out: Barnstable: Smart & Safe Zoning.