By Shira Schoenberg | [email protected]
Published on Dec. 04, 2019, 5:00 a.m.
They are a New England-based land use lawyer, an athlete-turned-gym sock entrepreneur, and a marijuana grower. Now, they are budding marijuana entrepreneurs with one store open and two more on the way.
Josh Silver, Brendan McKee and Josh Ferranto, the owners of Silver Therapeutics, are unusual in the landscape of Massachusetts’ marijuana businesses. They have no agreements with any multi-state conglomerate and no major investors outside of themselves, their friends and family.
They have opened one recreational marijuana store in a Williamstown strip mall, and plan to use the profits to open two more stores, one with an educational campus. They are also planning to build a grow facility so they can sell to the medical marijuana market.
They are functioning as a start-up, run by the three partners. Their experience provides some insight into the lure, and the challenges, of opening a marijuana business in Massachusetts.
“We’ve all made a lot of sacrifices.” McKee said, listing weight gain, time, social life, and health. “I work every day all day to make this work. I know these guys do, too.”
Silver Therapeutics was the brainchild of Silver, a lawyer living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Silver, 38, became familiar with the marijuana scene as a college student in Colorado. When Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana, he became interested in getting into the industry, and started reading the regulations. He reached out to a family friend, retired investment banker Billy Bischoff, to help with the fundraising. “I said this is happening 20 miles from here, let’s do it,” Silver recalled.
Tragically, three months after they started discussing their plans, Bischoff died in a car crash.
“It definitely left me reeling,” Silver said.