ORLEANS — With an average resident age of 62, Orleans demographics may skew gray, but that doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of would-be local marijuana entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in town.
The town has two retail licenses available, and five businesses have stepped up with their $10,000 application fees. All met the qualifications for the next step, Town Administrator John Kelly recently told the Orleans Select Board.
A series of public outreach forums are set for this week. The meetings will be held via Zoom and will also be videotaped for later viewing on the town website.
The outlines of business plans are available on the Orleans website at town.orleans.ma.us, and abutters are being notified of the meetings by mail.
The five companies will then appear May 17-18 before the select board, whose members will rank each on various requirements, and choose the final two and an alternate by May 26, Kelly said. Negotiations would then start on community agreements.
Bwell Holdings Inc. has operated a retail shop on Commercial Street in Provincetown “flawlessly” since Sept. 4, according to their filing. They also hold a license for a product production facility at 45 Court St. in Provincetown that they expect to open by September.
The retail shop in Orleans would be at 29 West Road, currently the home of West Branch Capital, almost across the street from the Hog Island Brewery. In their filing, Bwell said they hoped to be open in Orleans by December if chosen.
Bwell is certified as woman- and veteran-owned and has expedited status by the Cannabis Control Commission. Karen Nash (Bwell founder and CEO), Kimberly Premny, Judy Mencher (a hedge fund manager) and Jack Hudson (founder of a Quincy dispensary) are the owners. Premny has owned the Beacon Room restaurant, located next door to the proposed shop, since 1999.
Based out of Mattapan, Strain hopes to begin operations in December from 5 Namskaket Road, where The Cape Codder newspaper has leased the front office since Peter Kimball bought the building several years ago. Strain officials have estimated it will cost $1 million in renovations and permits to open in what was the Fitness Revolution gym, which closed last year.
CEO Priscilla Brown also is a vice president at Coyote Cannibis of Uxbridge, which will provide products to the store. David Rabinowitz of the NewCann Group and Blake Mensing, who co-owns a Holyoke shop and cultivation facility, are the other partners. Mensing, a lawyer, has 40 clients in the field and they will also supply products.
In their application, Strain officials speculated that on-site “social consumption” could be coming, with a possible cafe and wellness classes there.
Dune Wellness would locate its shop at 2 Bog Hollow Road, where a plumbing supply business is located.
The company was founded by Alex, Tim and Demetra Jamoulis of Harwich, and Mark Schupara and Dan Lawless. It was incorporated on March 15. CEO Alex Jamoulis will open the medical- and adult-use Emerald Grove shop in Eastham this year and has a provisional license for product manufacturing in Middleboro.
Dune also expects to begin cultivation operations in Middleboro in a 5,000-square-foot facility next year in time for the anticipated opening in Orleans. Alex and Tim own several liquor stores on Cape Cod including South Chatham Liquors and Moonshine Liquors in Harwich.
Ember Gardens proposes to operate at 41 Route 6A in what is now a home and formerly a blacksmith studio.
Owners include COO Dan Gillan, Matt Griffin and married property owners Mary Ann Tagliaferri and Fred Fulcher. Ember Gardens recently won approval to operate a retail shop on Newbury Street in Boston, a cultivation facility in western Massachusetts and a delivery operation in Middleboro.
Owners are also hoping for a New Bedford retail and manufacturing site.
Seaside Joint Venture
At 14 Lots Hollow Road, Seaside Joint Venturehas local connections. Former Select Board member and bowling-alley owner Dave Currier is the director of operations. A.J. Luke of Luke’s Liquors is the director of inventory. Tim McNamara of Mashpee is the general counsel, and Adam Higgins of Sandwich is the director of communications.
Luke, who owns the building and has six liquor stores on the Cape, also was the unsuccessful backer of a proposed cannabis retail shop at the Luke Liquors plaza in Brewster.
The company hopes to begin operation as soon as three months after permits are granted. Seaside has a cultivation agreement with Holistic Health of Middleboro and Sira Naturals of Milford.
Schedule of hearings
B/well; 5 p.m.
Strain LLC; 6:30 p.m.
Ember Gardens; 5 p.m.
Dune Wellness; 7 p.m.
Seaside Joint Venture; 5 p.m.