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Cannabis overtakes cranberries as top crop in Massachusetts

Cannabis overtakes cranberries as top crop in Massachusetts
Cannabis overtakes cranberries as top crop in Massachusetts 01:46

BOSTON - For the third consecutive year, Governor Charlie Baker had declared October "Cranberry Month" as a way to celebrate and support the commonwealth's growers. But it's November now; and according to newly released research there's a new top crop to talk about.

According to the state's Agricultural Overview, the fruit brought in $66 million last year. But that's just a berry in the bog - compared to marijuana. The Leafly Harvest Report puts Massachusetts' adult-use cannabis crop valued around $362 million.

With a background in pharmaceutical chemistry, Gene Ray has had a front row seat in this booming young market.

"Starting here just having three grow rooms now having more than 10 grow rooms now... At Garden Remedies we've been able to see all the plants grow, all the people grow," said Ray, who is Vice President of Labs at Garden Remedies.

Marijuana, cannabis plant
Marijuana plants inside Garden Remedies grow facility in Fitchburg CBS Boston

Ray recalled working with about 30 people when the massive Fitchburg grow site first opened. Now, more than 150 people are employed there, not counting the employees at their three dispensaries and Newton headquarters. In this big, busy local industry, with constant competition in new licenses, Ray looks forward to what the next four years has in store.

"Where we've benefited is we're able to do everything under one roof and keep supplying all these different stores with as many products as possible," he said, of the 'seed to sale' operation. "We keep pushing the envelope more. The innovation never stops." 

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