Pot company donating $2K to Bernardston Elementary School PTO

  • Bernardston Elementary School.

Staff Writer
Published: 8/26/2020 1:49:24 PM

BERNARDSTON — The Heirloom Collective, the marijuana cultivation facility on Route 10, is donating $2,000 to the Bernardston Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO).

According to Selectboard member Brian Keir, the host agreement between Bernardston and the marijuana cultivation company requires the company to provide an annual donation to a charity that benefits Bernardston residents.

Chief Financial Officer Patrick Cloney said The Heirloom Collective, while not “super flush” with capital following mandatory shutdowns of marijuana dispensaries at the start of the pandemic, “really wanted to give back to the town.” Cloney said the entire founding team and executive team for The Heirloom Collective wanted to show their gratitude, as Bernardston has been a “remarkable” partner since the company came to town in 2018.

The Heirloom Collective held conversations with the Selectboard to determine which charity to support. Cloney said town officials and members of The Heirloom Collective ultimately agreed the Bernardston PTO should be the recipient.

“Members of our founding team all have kids in school systems in different towns, but we can understand and appreciate what they (the Bernardston PTO) are going through,” Cloney said. “This one just resonated with everybody.”

Keir said the Selectboard suggested the Bernardston PTO receive the donation because PTO fundraising has been seriously impacted by the pandemic. Due to health safety precautions, the PTO hasn’t been able to pursue normal routes for securing money and supplies for the coming school year.

Bernardston Elementary School Principal Kelly Carriere said she has not yet met with PTO President Melissa Gerry to discuss the exact use of the $2,000. However, Carriere said a PTO meeting Monday saw members discuss some possible purchases. This could include an adapter to the first-floor water fountain, to convert it into a water bottle refill station, just like one the PTO purchased and installed near the cafeteria.

“We also spoke about ordering bags for all students that would be filled with back-to-school items, portable containers for students to store their masks during mask breaks, a snack cart for all staff during their first few days of in-services and meetings, and a check for all teachers of $100 to support back-to-school purchases for classrooms and students,” Carriere said in an email Tuesday.

While these are all possibilities, Gerry said all decisions will be made at a PTO meeting at a later date, once the donation has been received. Because of the pandemic, members of the Selectboard, PTO and The Heirloom Collective have yet to decide if they will meet in person to deliver a check, or send the donation via mail or electronic transfer.

The Heirloom Collective, which sells its marijuana at a dispensary at 457 Russell St. (Route 9) in Hadley, was allowed to reopen for sales under Gov. Charlie Baker’s guidelines in May. Though it has previously only sold medicinal marijuana, Cloney said The Heirloom Collective was officially approved for recreational marijuana sales following a Post-Final License Inspection on Aug. 21. He expects to start selling recreational marijuana at the Hadley dispensary within the next week.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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