The historic mill that once housed the Butterworth factory, which made its name in the production of textiles in the early 1900s, now houses another historically significant enterprise: the cultivation of cannabis.
Dracut Economic Development held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 23 for Bailey’s Buds, 1935 Lakeview Avenue, the latest cannabis-related business to open in Dracut. As the town’s first cultivation-only business, Bailey’s Buds is not open to the public.
As one of the first growers supported by Massachusetts’ Social Equity Program, Bailey’s Buds is making good on its intentions to restore the mill to its former glory. The interior of the mill, built in the 1800s and rebuilt in 1900 after a fire, has been renovated, and Gus Bailey, patriarch of the Watertown family, has his sights set on beautifying the exterior with landscaping, flowers and fencing, with a long eye toward restoring the mill’s windows facing Lakeview Avenue.
Bailey’s Buds qualified for the Social Equity Program, which provides training and assistance for would-be cannabis cultivators that were negatively impacted by marijuana laws before the legalization of cannabis in the state, after Gus spent time in prison.
Gus has long been a proponent of legalizing marijuana and was one of the founders of MassCann, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition and one of the participants of its first freedom rally in 1989.
Gus spent five years in federal prison for illegally growing and distributing marijuana, from 2013 to 2018.
“It ended up being a positive experience,” Gus says. “I’m a believer that whatever happens in life, you’ve got to make the most of it. I made a lot of friends in prison, and I did a lot of reading. I did a lot of introspection, and it taught me humility.”
By the time he was released, Massachusetts had legalized the cultivation and sale of cannabis.
That’s when he and his sons, Alex and Phil, and daughter, Simone, decided to make cannabis the family business.
The mill that houses Bailey’s Buds is situated along Beaver Brook between the mill housing Keefe Cleanouts and the former Factory Direct Mattress store, and the Mercier Electrical building, across the street from the Beaver Brook Mill that houses Owen and Ollie’s Restaurant.
“The outside is really what I want to fix up now,” Gus says. “The front and back, the windows, the landscaping will commence this spring.”
The first floor of the mill offers 12,000 square feet of cultivation space, which is palatial compared to other growers in the state.
“We have all the space in the world,” says Alex, the CEO of Bailey’s Buds. “It’s a rare thing for Massachusetts cannabis businesses.”
Bailey’s Buds made its first sale in February, and Dracut retailer Tree House Craft Cannabis is already offering some of their products in store and online. Bailey’s is in talks with Dracut’s three other retailers – Rise, Lazy River Products and the soon-to-open Nova Farms.
For now, Bailey’s Buds is concentrating on building its store of organically grown, rather than hydroponically grown, cannabis to sell to Massachusetts retailers, and hiring more employees, with preference to Dracut residents.
For more information on Bailey’s Buds, call 978-276-9024, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.baileysbuds.com.