Five Retail Marijuana Applicants Are High On Orleans

By: Ed Maroney

Marijuana

ORLEANS The profiles of the five contenders for two retail marijuana licenses will become clearer next week as each conducts a virtual community outreach meeting. For dates and times, and the text of their responses to the town’s request for information, go to www.town.orleans.ma.us/home/news/schedule-and-requirements-for-community-outreach-meeting-for-retail-marijuana-dispensaries/.

Since Sept. 4, b\well’s retail dispensary at 220 Commercial St. in Provincetown has been up and running, and the company expects its product manufacturing facility on Court Street there will be fully licensed by this September. Hoping to open in Orleans by the end of the year are founder/CEO Karen Nash, a “serial entrepreneur;” owner/COO Kimberley Premny, owner operator for 23 years of the Beacon Room Restaurant near b\well’s proposed Orleans site at 29 West Rd.; owner/consultant Judy Mencher, a lawyer, MBA, and hedge fund manager; owner/consultant Jack Hudson, founder/CEO of a medical marijuana dispensary; and Kelly LaMay, the assistant manager in Provincetown who would manage the Orleans shop.

Proposed hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The company hopes to add an exit drive on the other side of the building. The Provincetown staff is 90 percent locals, and b\well says it’s making the same commitment in Orleans as it brings on an expected 15 to 20 full-time, year-round employees. b\well promises to work with the police department on a traffic mitigation plan if needed and will have a full traffic study done if requested. An informal traffic-generation assessment indicated a “minor traffic increase (at) critical peak hour periods.”

The team behind Dune Wellness, Inc., which wants to open a retail dispensary at 2 Bog Hollow Rd., has lots of experience with alcohol sales. CEO Alex Jamoulis, his brother Timothy (the CFO), and their mother Demetra, their partner, operate liquor stores in Chatham, Harwich, and Hyannis. They’re joined by partner Mark Schuparra – who founded and later sold the Native Sun Wellness company, which licensed cultivation facilities and dispensaries – and technology and business development consultant Dan Lawless, who’s in charge of operations. Alex Jamoulis plans to open his Emerald Grove retail dispensary in Eastham next month; an Orleans opening could happen next March.

Dune Wellness envisions some big numbers for Orleans: total gross revenues of $2,076,324 are estimated for the first year, with the town getting $124,580 of that from local taxes and impact fees. As for hours, they’d like 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The company sees its somewhat off-the-beaten-track location off Bay Ridge Lane as an asset to the community, but is nevertheless willing to implement an appointment-only system during its first month and projected periods of high traffic or demand.

Ember Gardens is preparing to open a retail dispensary on Boston’s tony Newbury Street later this year, while its Orleans shop would incorporate a traditional Cape that sits between the Cranberry Highway and Town Cove at 41 Route 6A. The owners of that property, MaryAnn Tagliaferri and Fred Fulcher, have joined Don Delaney of Orleans’s Delaney Building as the local partners of Ember Gardens, whose management team describes itself as “farmers and cannabis professionals born and raised in Massachusetts.” CEO Shane Hyde has a background in hedge funds, Head of Cultivation George Friedlander led “grow operations” on the West Coast, COO Dan Gillan’s area of concentration is cannabis science, Chief Security Officer Aaron Washington is a state police veteran, and Matt Griffin, director of cultivation at the Cape Cod Grow Lab in Brewster, would be the general manager in Orleans.

The company has a provisional cultivation license in Middleboro that it expects will supply the Orleans site, and also has a dispensary in the permitting process in New Bedford. It’s looking at a daily schedule here of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. May through September and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the rest of the year. “Due to the high-traffic nature of our location during the summer months,” the application notes, “controlling traffic and customer lines and preventing loitering will be a key part of our duties of being a good neighbor.”

Seaside Joint Ventures, Inc., wants to open a retail dispensary and (eventually) a manufacturing facility at 14 Lots Hollow Rd. The director of operations is Dave Currier, the former selectman and board of health member who owns The Alley Bowling and BBQ. A.J. Luke of the Luke’s Super Liquors chain of stores is director of inventory and logistics. Adam Higgins of Sandwich is director of technology and Tim McNamara of Mashpee is director of compliance and general counsel. Luke has bought the building, which will be leased to Seaside; it has parking for more than 41 vehicles.

As for hours, the applicants say they will be determined in the zoning board of appeals permitting process – but 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 on Sundays would work for them. As have the other hopefuls, the company has pledged to make charitable contributions to the community. They’re willing to kick in $20,000 in direct funding above and beyond taxes and fees to the town’s recreation program.

Strain, LLC, would renovate a portion of the old Cape Codder printery at 5 Namskaket Rd. for a retail marijuana dispensary and a home delivery service with electric or hybrid vehicles. Its leadership includes Priscilla Brown, vice president of strategy for Coyote Cannabis Corporation, which holds a provisional license for cultivation and manufacture in Uxbridge; David Rabinovitz, founder and CEO of NewCann Group, LLC, and a principal at Canna Venture Labs, a consulting service for those entering the field; and Blake Mensing, founder and chief counsel of The Mensing Group, “Massachusetts’ only homegrown law firm dedicated to cannabis law in the Commonwealth.”

In addition to a community education program, Strain offered to work with the police department on drug recognition training and also with seniors and veterans groups on drug education. There could be other uses ahead. “It is expected Massachusetts will pass legislation in 2021 to allow social consumption facilities to start licensing,” the application notes. “These are essentially cannabis bars where consumers can visit and consume cannabis. Should Orleans elect to allow such facilities, we believe we could locate such a facility within the 7,400 square feet” space.