March 5, 2019

Fitchburg marijuana grower starts entrepreneurial program

Dr. Karen Munkacy is a board-certified anesthesiologist, and a cancer survivor, who runs Garden Remedies Inc.

Fitchburg marijuana grower Garden Remedies has launched a program meant to mentor cannabis entrepreneurs and give them skills and knowledge to succeed in the increasingly competitive cannabis market.

The company, which has dispensaries in Newtown, Melrose and shortly Marlborough, said the 14-week program launched in January and includes three participants: Gerardo Ramos of Holyoke Green Growers, Erica Travis of Lily Pad Healing Arts in Shelbourne Falls and Caroline Pineau of Haverhill Stem.

The program comes as the Massachusetts adult-use cannabis market heats up. With just nine stores open, the state has grossed about $45 million since the rollout of sales in November.

"We are a mission-driven organization; it's core to our culture, and important to all of our employees," CEO Karen Munkacy said in a statement. "We're excited to play a role in helping this industry grow responsibly."

The Garden Remedies program includes in-person and virtual learning experiences and mentoring sessions to address unique challenges in the industry.

Participants are paired with Garden Remedies' lab, cultivation and retail experts for advice and feedback and classes in processing, cultivation and retail are offered.

The company's program comes as the state's industry -- in its infancy despite the impressive sales numbers -- looks to continue its rapid growth. At least one other company, Sira Naturals in Milford, offers a cannabis business incubator program.

The state Cannabis Control Commission offers social equity training programs.


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