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Hello Cannabis Control Commission:

My name is Eric Schwartz. I am Co-founder and Creator of Farm Bug Cooperative. I have stated the
7 Principles of a Cooperative in front of this Commission in the past. I will not repeat them here
today. I know that this body knows these principles because you wrote them into the final
regulations, 935 CMR 500.00. I’d like to commend this Commission for being the first state agency
in our country to include the 7 Principles of a Co-op in the regulatory framework of the legal
marijuana industry.

It’s been a long year since those regulations were passed and I’ve learned a lot during that time.
Today, I’d like to share with you some of what I’ve learned. The first thing I’d like to acknowledge is
that our government continues to target the people that grow marijuana. A painful reality of
legalization is that law enforcement still arrests cannabis farmers. I’ve learned this throughout my
advocacy, as I’ve sat in public meetings alongside police officers—from Roxbury, Massachusetts to
Buckland, Massachusetts. I’d like to ask this Commission to make it your responsibility not only to
oversee the emerging industry, but, also, to protect the people that are working so hard to emerge.
Please hold accountable government officials that are breaking Massachusetts state law. You’ve
been given a mandate by our state government not only to regulate this industry, but, also, to
uphold the law.

Throughout my advocacy, I’ve seen the blatant violation of open meeting law by our public officials.
I’ve seen this in Buckland, Massachusetts and Monson, Massachusetts. I’ve also seen an open
meeting law violation complaint to the Attorney General’s office stalled within the local
government. If we can’t get such complaints to our Attorney General, then how can the AG’s office
help us? And, if the CCC and the state legislature continues to throw up your hands at municipal
indiscretion, then what are we to do other than defend ourselves? As I sit here today, there is not
one cannabis cooperative licensed in the state of Massachusetts. For that to change, this
Commission and the Attorney General’s office needs to get tough on municipal governments. I am
calling upon this Commission to immediately end your relationships with municipal associations
that have had only two goals during this process: 1.) to stall the rollout and; 2.) to protect the
people that are targeting our people. I ask that this Commission work with us, the local

entrepreneurs of this industry, to prohibit the bad practices adopted by many local governments.
The most recent of these practices is the extortion of operators through local licensing fees or one-
time payments. The worst of these can be seen openly displayed on the Town of Lanesborough’s
website, a municipality that has issued a non-refundable filing fee of $4,000 for all local applicants.
This cost is over 6 times the fee to apply for a license from state. Where is such local money going? I
can tell you where it’s not going—it’s not being invested in any of us.

Lastly, I would like to take this time to speak to the cannabis cultivators of Massachusetts. You are
my brothers and my sisters on this journey. But, you must show up if you want these injustices to
stop. If you do not tell this Commission and your local government what you want, then you will
only perpetuate the status quo with your silence. If you truly want to enter this industry, you need
to give yourself and your community a voice. I know this has been a long and hard road of
marijuana prohibition. But, that prohibition has ended in Massachusetts. Marijuana is legal. The
possession and consumption and gifting of marijuana is legal. And, the last time I checked, stating
an opinion to your government is not only legal, but, it’s what our country is founded on.

I thank this Commission for taking the time to listen to my experiences and my requests of you. I am
more committed today than I’ve ever been to see to it that a Craft Marijuana Cooperative is licensed
in the state of Massachusetts.

Thank you.

Most Sincerely,


Eric R. Schwartz
Farm Bug Cooperative, LLC