Up from the Underground, Headed to Higher Ground
Jul 17, 2019 07:15PM
Beantown Greentown all started in 2016, selling t-shirts, when Andrew Mutty connected with an old buddy from his Boston hometown, Keith Laham, and found out he was growing cannabis in his home just like Mutty did.
Mutty showed him his secret cannabis lab in his home. “In 2016, everybody was afraid to get busted, and you didn’t want to put yourself out there,” he says.
“So I turned this room I had into a lab with a secret wall and sliding cabinets, like James Bond style. You couldn’t see anything.”
Laham saw the set up and told Mutty they should partner up and get into the cannabis business.
“We had ideas sort of changing the city landscape to make it a better and more beautiful place because of cannabis, and we saw the industry coming,” Mutty says.
“About that time, the Boston mayor publicly said that he wanted to make Beantown more of a green town, or more of a greener, landscaped place. So, we decided to use that phrase and spin in a way so it applied to cannabis.”
They started an underground Instagram page to help Massachusetts growers understand the guidelines and other details about how to grow in the Boston climate.
Both Mutty and Laham were medical patients and caregivers, so they were qualified to work with cannabis. “You couldn’t grow at home at the time unless you were a caregiver,” Mutty says. “We were reaching out to our local communities in a way that people around here were just were afraid to do. So, we immediately got a lot of positive feedback from the underground community. We got turned into this cult underground thing where we would exchange clones.”
Mutty found that he had a knack for cloning, and Laham had some cannabis plant genetics he had made back when he was growing in 2006. “So we developed this cool collaboration at the time,” Mutty says.
They have a home grow for patients, and they create original strains like Boston Skunk, 617 Haze, and Wicked Pissa. The pair is in the application process for a combo license to allow cultivation and manufacturing. In preparation for evolving the business, they have a building ready.
“Massachusetts regulations are pretty well written,” Mutty says. “They have developed them through a couple of public hearings to understand what the community wants. But there are still a couple of bumps left.”
So far, Mutty says, they don’t have employees but use a host of volunteers who help them with their line of t-shirts, hoodies, and hats and work with them on their cannabis advocacy and grow educational efforts.
Mutty says they will need a compliance person, a security manager, other cultivators, trimmers, and a brand manager among others within three years as they look to expand. “The three- to five year plan is to get out of the combo style license and actually get a retail license,” Mutty says. “ Then we can separate everything and be more or less vertically integrated.”