Belfort Group (BG) was retained by Acreage Holdings (dba The Botanist), owners of a medical cannabis cultivating business in Sterling, MA. With only a month of lead time in a community that voted against the legalization of marijuana and allowance of adult-use recreational cultivation by a two-thirds margin within the past two years, BG’s goal was to flip the vote and secure a two-thirds margin approval at Town Meeting to allow the business to sell wholesale to adult-use retailers.
As part of the community relations campaign, the BG creative team developed marketing collateral that stressed the project benefits plus the fact that no retail dispensaries would be sought in town, including printed mailers distributed to community members and key stakeholders in addition to a campaign website (no longer live).
Town Meeting attendance was roughly 30 percent higher than usual greatly due to BG’s efforts, and almost all the speakers supported the article. Despite unanimous opposition and a lack of recommendation by the Planning Board, the client’s article easily exceeded the necessary two-thirds majority and the article was successfully passed, a significant accomplishment given the negative climate at the beginning of the campaign.