First participants made up exclusively of women, economic empowerment, and minority owned small businesses.
MILFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 10, 2018–
Sira Naturals, Inc., a Massachusetts-based registered marijuana dispensary (RMD) group, has accepted the inaugural class of applicants into the Sira Accelerator program, its small-business accelerator designed to help entrepreneurs navigate and succeed within the emerging regulated cannabis industry.
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6Sieh and Leah Samura, owners of 612 Studios. (Photo: Business Wire)
From an initial response of more than 400 applicants, three groups were chosen based on the quality of the teams and viability of the products. The three companies include: Healing Tree Edibles, a women-owned producer of craft cannabis infused edibles and pet snacks based on Cape Cod; Hothouse Holyoke, an aspiring craft cannabis cultivator and product manufacturer based in the disproportionately impacted community of Holyoke; and 612 Studios, an Economic Empowerment applicant based in Boston that produces a women’s and couples’ cannabis infused product line.
“We looked at hundreds of inspiring and enthusiastic entrepreneurs during our application process, and these three successful applicants have demonstrated a vision and dedication to their work that is second to none,” said Michael Dundas, president and chief executive officer of Sira Naturals. “Sira Naturals is grateful to have the opportunity to share what we have learned throughout our journey as an organization, and to accelerate these small businesses to enormous success. Many of the other groups that applied showed tremendous potential and we hope to work with many of them in the future.”
“We are very excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to start working,” said Leah Samura, one member of the husband and wife team that makes up 612 Studios. “As an Economic Empowerment applicant, the barriers to entry in the cannabis industry are extremely high. This program is so unique and valuable in how it can help our company make the transition to the regulated marketplace.”
“When we moved to Massachusetts we deliberately chose Holyoke as our new community,” said Audrey Park, co-founder of Hothouse Holyoke which has applied to the Cannabis Control Commission for Cultivation and Product Manufacturing licenses. “We believe that the cannabis industry has the economic potential to give back to disproportionately impacted communities and we want to be a part of this movement.”
“This is truly a historic moment in the cannabis industry,” said Michelle Bennett, founder of Healing Tree Edibles. “For a small business like mine, the Accelerator offers the potential to reach a much wider market than I could achieve on my own,” she said. Healing Tree currently manufactures cannabidiol-infused pet treats.
The goal of the program is to provide cannabis entrepreneurs an immediate path-forward in product development, slicing through barriers to entry, and accelerating them to profitability. The Sira Accelerator provides access to world-class lab technology, workspace, and executive mentorship. Additionally, each small-business receives an allotment of Sira Naturals-produced cannabinoid substrate, or cannabis oil, that is invaluable to product development, and often the most prohibitive hurdle for these small businesses to overcome.
About 612 Studios
612 Studios LLC is a cannabis product manufacturing company based in Boston, which is at the forefront of encouraging real social equity and ownership in the local cannabis economy. 612 Studios was founded by Leah and Sieh Samura, a dynamic husband and wife team with a passion for positive change. Mrs. Samura has been a dedicated community technology instructor and program manager for local nonprofits in Roxbury. Mr. Samura is a combat veteran who served in the Iraq War, and a vocal cannabis consumer rights activist. For more information, visit our website.
About Healing Tree Edibles
Healing Tree Edibles is a small producer of naturally delicious cannabis edibles based on Cape Cod. Its mission is to provide patients with a healthy alternative to medicating by providing organic, non-GMO, low sugar, and gluten free options. Our motto is “A Healthy Way to Healing.” For more information, visit our website.
About Hothouse Holyoke
Hothouse Holyoke is a cannabis cultivator and product manufacturer startup that is poised to be one of the first mom-and-pop cannabis kitchens in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It will offer consumers a line of unique, edibles that are micro-dosed and allergen-friendly. Founded by former school teachers Audrey Park and Lucas Wiggins, Hothouse Holyoke aims to be an active part of a newly forming cannabis business community in Holyoke, Massachusetts. For more information, visit our website.
About the Sira Accelerator
Launched in July 2018, the Sira Accelerator assists entrepreneurs in accessing the emerging regulated cannabis industry by giving them a platform from which to launch their cannabis businesses. The 12-week program provides motivated entrepreneurs with cannabis infusions workspace, infusible cannabinoid substrate, and expert advice, while leveraging the Sira Naturals, Inc. infrastructure to bring innovative infused products to market quickly. For more information, visit siraaccelerator.com.
About Sira Naturals
Sira Naturals, Inc. is the largest vertically integrated cannabis provider in Massachusetts. It operates a cultivation and product manufacturing facility as well as three retail dispensaries in the communities of Cambridge, Somerville and Needham. Sira Naturals is a mission driven organization dedicated to the provision of premium cannabis, sustainably grown and sold with integrity. For more information, visit siranaturals.org.
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