“Like any business, an entrepreneur must know all parts of the business.”
You go by DJ Stenny? How did you get that name?
My whole life growing up in Quincy, I’ve been called Stenny. My father had gotten the nickname while serving in the Navy, the members of his crew would shorten his last name from Stentiford to Stenny. After I got out of the Marines I started to DJ in the Boston area and it was an easy choice to brand and market the nickname I already had.
When and why did you start Mary Palmer?
My girlfriend Lynne Spinney and I started Mary Palmer in the fall of 2018. We wanted to create a beverage to help people. We made a THC-infused beverage to compete at the inaugural Commonwealth Cannabis Cup held at the Boston Freedom Rally. About two months later, we entered the Harvest Cup’s competition and won first place [for] sweet edible.
How and where do you create your Mary Palmer products and source the CBD?
Most of our products are formulated in our kitchen by us. We have a local production partner for a few products we don’t have the equipment for. Our CBD is sourced both locally and nationally.
At the Harvest Cup 2020, you took home six first-place wins and four runner-ups, 10 awards total. Tell us about some of those awards, any that you are most surprised about?
This was a unique year, [and] with no events going on we focused on the contest. There were definitely a few products that we weren’t too sure about how the judges would perceive them. We entered medicated stuffed pepper and infused pickle in the “savory” category and both did really well, with pepper in second place and pickle taking first place.
What are your best selling products?
The CBD tinctures, our Best Buds dog treats, and the CBD gum. Research has shown that pets have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), just like humans do. This means that the endocannabinoid receptors in the body are able to interact with CBD and use it to promote an overall balance.
What are you working on next?
Finishing the CCC’s economic empowerment program and getting a community host agreement.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the Massachusetts recreational retail market.
If you could get elected city/town and state house officials to take action what would you ask them to do?
Get the ball rolling on recreational cannabis in Quincy, change the designated green zones.
Any advice for budding local cannabis entrepreneurs?
Start growing, get involved in your local community, start networking, and find like minded individuals. Like any business, an entrepreneur must know all parts of the business.
Anything you want to bring to the attention of readers?
Currently in [Massachusetts], it’s against state law for [Cannabis Control Commission]-licensed companies to source CBD or other hemp-derived cannabinoids from [Department of Agricultural Resources]-licensed hemp producers, or even to stock CBD products that were produced under a hemp license. This doesn’t make any sense. Mass hemp companies are struggling, and farmers are going out of business. Meanwhile, CCC-licensed companies want to source from hemp … but this one line of the law makes it impossible and illegal.
My friend Hillay drafted a bill to change this, which just became Amendment 166 MA Hemp Industry Survive and Thrive (Amendment 166 to S. 4 Senate FY21 Budget). With the support of fellow advocates, I was able to find a senator to file it as an amendment to the Senate budget and so far, four more senators have signed on as co-sponsors. Please, if you live in Massachusetts, email your senator and ask them to support [the amendment]. [Ed. note: Amendment 166 passed in the time since this interview was conducted.]