Former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank has signed on to work with Beantown Greentown, a Boston collective of growers and other cannabis professionals currently navigating the regulatory process to obtain a state license to operate legally. Under terms of the deal, Frank will make public appearances and use his political influence to advocate for broader marijuana legalization, particularly at the federal level, and will receive a 1.5 percent interest in the cooperative in return.

Frank has been supported cannabis legalization since the 1970s when he served as a Massachusetts state legislator. He said in an interview with the Boston Globe that he continued to advocate for the reform of marijuana laws until the end of his career in public service.

“When I announced my retirement [in 2011], [then-President Barack] Obama invited me and my husband to a private lunch,” Frank said. “I only raised two issues with him: cutting military spending and allowing states that had legalized marijuana to go forward without federal prosecution.”

Frank said that he joined Beantown Greentown because he is impressed with the group’s business plan and approach to cannabis, which extends beyond the motivation of profit. And while he supports small businesses and co-ops, he also sees a place

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