Meg Sanders founded Canna Provisions with Erik Williams in 2018, when they were drawn to Western Massachusetts for both its beauty and its culture of health and wellness. Between the two of them they have 25 years of experience in the cannabis industry and have both been pioneers of legalization efforts in the field. With two outposts in Holyoke and Lee, their mission is to provide high-quality cannabis products to the Berkshires.
Customers walking into Canna Provisions are met with a wide array of products and employees that help to tailor those offerings to each individual. Sanders and Williams want to ensure user education, through both visual user guidelines and an atmosphere that welcomes questions. Their interest in cannabis education extends from the local level to the national; they recently held a forum with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand about cannabis legislation.
Sanders’s experience in the cannabis industry began when she worked with the governor of Colorado to develop its updated cannabis laws in 2009, later opening one of the state’s first dispensaries. Upon closer inspection of cannabis’s racist legal history, she became passionate about “righting the wrongs of the drug war,” which disproportionately affected people of color. “Unless CEOs like myself stand up and say enough is enough, that equity must come first, it will not happen,” says Sanders. Canna Provisions donates to nonprofits such as Last Prisoner Project, which work to end the incarceration of people of color whose cannabis charges are no longer illegal per recent legislation.
Sanders believes in the power of cannabis as a tool for palliative care and pain relief, but also simply as both a preventative measure and antidote for everyday stress and anxiety. “They’re powerful areas of health and wellness,” says Sanders, who feels that Canna Provisions is well aligned with the region’s focus on wellbeing, evidenced by places like the Omega Institute and Canyon Ranch.