-- By Mark Gurarie
Cooperative businesses, in which members own a stake in the company, emerged in the US first and foremost as a means of survival. In the face of a consolidating agricultural industry brought on by the industrial revolution, some of the first were formed by small dairy farmers in the 1810s, who found a need to pool together to share costs and increase buying power against larger competitors. An alternative to traditional business structure, founded on altruistic ideas about collaboration and collectivity, they’ve made and continue to make an indelible mark. There are currently about 29,000 co-ops operating in the country within every major industry: agriculture, housing, grocery stores, breweries like Anchor Steam, credit unions, electrical companies, Ben & Jerrys, and many more. According to the USDA, 75% of milk sold in the US comes from coop farms.
Though there are different types, their aim is the same: to create profit not for individual business owners or anonymous investors, but for their members, who have a stake in the whole. In an economy in which the scales tend to tip for larger, richer entities, co-ops offer representation, stability, greater democratic control of operations, and another way to think about how businesses run and what social purposes they should serve.
We are more than pleased to announce that on July 8, Mass Cannabis Growers Coop CEO and Exec. Director Brandon Gates took second place for flower in the East Coast Cannabis “Grumpy” Cup with his LA Beatnik strain.
First Place and $1,000 went to Cannabis corporate monolith TruLieve who was also a sponsor. Bit of conflict of interest here?, but the people won with LA Beatnik taking Second Place. Winners are chosen by the up to 100 judges attending the event. LA Beatnik’s THC lab test came in at 29%.
For more information on the Cannabis Cup CLICK HERE
Story by Jant Reynolds & Avital Norman Nathman
From the Daily Hampshire Gazette
By DUSTY CHRISTENSEN
HOLYOKE — "When the Cannabis Control Commission was crafting the framework for the state’s legal marijuana market in 2017, some farmers pushed for regulations that would support cannabis cooperatives that would allow smaller-scale farmers to participate in the industry."
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Brandon Gates, founder and CEO of Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative in Holyoke, hold his son Elias Gates, 2, and stands with his wife, Miira Gates, chief compliance officer, and their son, Theo Gates, 4 months, in front of the building where the cooperative is going to be in Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS