It all started in 2016 when marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts and four local guys had a shared vision of leveraging their expertise, knowledge, and business skills to launch a new business and become part of the growing cannabis industry.
Finding our home
Before we could receive our cultivation license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our first step was to find the right town and building to become home to our fledgling business. Relying on our real estate expertise, we set forth on this mission, and after extensive research, we ultimately landed on a location in Athol, Massachusetts. The building, which had been vacant for nearly a decade, was formerly an Agway store. We bought the building in May 2018 and began the lengthy process of town and state approvals for our cultivation license. In November 2018 we received our provisional license and immediately started retrofitting the building to meet the needs of our new business.
The building needed extensive renovations to convert it into its new purpose for 1620 Labs. Old retail display racks had to be removed and the interior transformed – gutted, reconfigured, and reframed to accommodate a laboratory-grade state-of-the-art indoor grow facility and new HVAC systems to precisely control the environment. To ensure that we can produce a steady supply of top-quality products, we’re also building new greenhouses located on the property.
A commitment to high quality cannabis
With the initial renovation and construction phase completed, we received our final license in March 2020 and the go-ahead to start growing. Even though we’re employing advanced technology, we’re doing things “old school.” Ours is very much a hands-on approach, with a lot of love and a fierce dedication to the ancient art of thoughtful cultivation. We’re growing plants in small batches using real soil. Instead of using harmful chemicals, we are using all-natural compost tea for fertilizer and have also adopted a natural pest control methodology using primarily beneficial insects, including ladybugs. Our staff are at the facility “around the clock” taking care of the plants, such as constantly monitoring the PH balance of the soil, checking humidity levels in the grow rooms, etc. In addition, we are harvesting by hand as well as hand trimming each flower to produce the highest quality products for our customers.
A small company trying to make a big difference
This is really a story about transformation. A grassroots story about a few local entrepreneurs with a vision to make a positive impact on an industry that’s as new as our little company. We’re determined to commit our efforts and our business to help transform in a positive way the city and the people who live and work in it. Athol is the perfect home for us — we have been warmly received by town officials and residents — contributing to the future success of this community. We are proud to be bringing good paying jobs to the area, and are committed to building and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture that empowers and respects all its employees.
The journey has just begun
On October 26, 2020, we received authorization from the state to commence operations as an adult-use cultivator. It was a tremendous journey for our company to get to this point, and we have been humbled by all the support we’ve received from the state and town of Athol every step of the way.
Our commitment to transform Athol and the lives of its citizens will continue to grow with each new harvest. Likewise, the transformation of our little company will continue with Phase 2 as we look to expand our footprint on the property. We own a mill building next to our current facility, with plans to knock it down and build another state-of-the-art grow facility in its place. This new building will be three times the size of our current building — a vital part of our transformation goals to bring more jobs to the area and build on the promise of a better tomorrow.
Phase 2: Mill Building
Our journey is to be continued! Phase 2 will be replacing this vacant mill building with another state-of-the-art grow facility.
FOR LICENSED MASSACHUSETTS RETAILERS
If you’re tired of struggling with unreliable supplies of poor-quality, badly-packaged cannabis products, we offer a reliable and refreshing alternative. 1620 Labs features sophisticated, well-branded cannabis products in attractive packaging.