By Kiera Blessing The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The 14-week program consists of a series of "learning experiences," both in-person and virtual, "aimed at addressing the unique business challenges and opportunities in the cannabis industry."
A cannabis company based in central Massachusetts recently launched a mentorship program for other cannabis entrepreneurs in the state -- and a Haverhill woman is part of the inaugural class.
Caroline Pineau, the owner of Haverhill STEM, a proposed recreational marijuana shop on Washington Street, is one of three participants in the Catalyst Mentoring Program, launched in January. The company behind the program, Garden Remedies Inc., announced the program this week.
"I'm so honored and happy to be a part of this program and I know I'm going to learn a lot about this industry from people who already have succeeded in it," Pineau told The Eagle-Tribune. "Not a lot of people get the opportunity to study firsthand with people who have already been doing it."
The 14-week program consists of a series of "learning experiences," both in-person and virtual, "aimed at addressing the unique business challenges and opportunities in the cannabis industry." Participants are paired with mentors to provide perspective and feedback, and have access to three learning tracks: processing, cultivation or retail, according to a statement from Garden Remedies.
Pineau said that she recently attended an in-person orientation, in which she and the other participants toured several Garden Remedies facilities and got a behind-the-scenes look at the company's operational side.
Garden Remedies describes itself as the only cannabis business in the state that was founded and is led by a female physician, Karen Munkacy. The company's mission is to "help as many people as we can by providing access to safe, legal and natural cannabis products that help treat debilitating conditions and improve health, wellness and overall quality of life." The company has dispensaries in Newton and Melrose and plans to soon open another in Marlborough.
Because GRI's mission is based in educating the public about cannabis, the company described the mentorship program as a "natural extension" of that goal.
"We are a mission-driven organization; it's core to our culture, and important to all of our employees," Munkacy said in a statement. "We're excited to play a role in helping this industry grow responsibly."
Pineau and the other two inaugural participants -- Gerardo Ramos, owner of Holyoke Green Growers, and Erica Travis, owner of Lily Pad Healing Arts in Shelbourne Falls -- are all state-designated priority applicants.
Pineau is an economic empowerment applicant, a designation the state's Cannabis Control Commission created to promote diversity in the industry.