Cannabis could become latest cash crop in Westport
The Craft Cannabis Co-Op Committee is working with the town and state to allow farmers to grow marijuana on their property.
The farmers would then sell the harvest to Massachusetts dispensaries, like the ones in Fall River and Wareham.
“We’re trying to bring forth an initiative that can help save the struggling Westport farms by giving them the chance to grow another cash crop,” committee secretary Averyl Andrade told NBC 10 News.
Town selectman and committee member Brian Valcourt said farmers could use profits to improve their land and hire more people.
“Those jobs start at $20 an hour,” Valcourt said. “They just go up from there. Someone who runs a grow room makes upwards of $50 an hour. That’s an income that someone can buy a house and stay in that community with.”
Farmer Nathan Andrade is one of several farmers who sat in on the committee’s Thursday night meeting. He has worked on his farm for about 20 years.
“I like it. I like it a lot,” Andrade said. “I have a lot of experience with growing, years and years, and I’m looking to enter the industry.”
Valcourt saID three percent of sales would come back to the town, but the proposal must first go to the people of Westport. In May, the town voted 118-82 to prohibit non-medical marijuana stores from opening in Westport.
“There are security concerns,” Valcourt added, saying there are more details to be ironed out with the Cannabis Control Commission.
The Craft Cannabis Co-Op Committee will meet with the planning board Tuesday. The proposal will also be discussed with the town council.