Holyoke, Massachusetts, hasn’t been a boomtown since the early 1900s when all of its now-abandoned paper mills were still in business. But the city’s 29-year-old mayor has an idea for bringing the jobs back and breathing new life into those old buildings: marijuana.
On Sunday, Massachusetts will become the first East Coast state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, and although many municipalities in the state have banned or temporarily blocked the pot industry, Holyoke is ready to welcome it with open arms. The city’s mayor Alex Morse believes Holyoke is the ideal location for the cannabis industry in Massachusetts — and possibly the country.
Morse hopes all of the unused space in the city’s abandoned mills will attract cannabis companies looking for space to grow, process and sell cannabis — perhaps even with a few Amsterdam-style cafés where people can enjoy it, too.