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Bernardston votes to support marijuana company

  • The Heirloom Collective, the marijuana grower on Route 10 just outside central Bernardston, was the subject of a town meeting vote on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ



Staff Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2018

BERNARDSTON — A major step was taken this week in the legal process to classify the Heirloom Collective, the marijuana grower on Route 10, as an agricultural company.

At a special town meeting, the town approved a “home rule petition” that would exclude the Heirloom Collective from the state’s decision that marijuana cultivation not be classified as agriculture. The vote was 21-6, Town Coordinator Lou Bordeaux said.

Being classified as an agricultural business will allow the company an easier legal avenue to building things like greenhouses as the company expands, which, in turn, makes the company more attractive to investors, CEO Jim Counihan said.

Bernardston’s intention for the Heirloom Collective had originally been to treat the company as an agricultural business. But after the Selectboard signed its agreement with the company, the state’s definition of marijuana cultivation was changed to specifically exclude it from agricultural laws.

Before the change goes into effect, it must be approved by state legislature, where it will be treated as a bill, said State Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru.

This article was the only one of the four on the warrant for the meeting that prompted extensive discussion, Bordeaux said. The other three articles on the warrant for the meeting — a question to purchase new front-end loader truck for the town, a money transfer to fund the purchase of the truck, and a “bookkeeping” article to move money that had been incorrectly categorized — all passed unanimously, Bordeaux said.