A group of Mashpee Wampanoag tribal citizens is among the six entities competing for the single recreational marijuana dispensary that will be permitted in Mashpee.
Led by tribal member Jaison L. Cramer as the manager of Greenerside Holdings, the group is looking to set up a shop at Mercantile Way.
Along with paying state and local taxes, Greenerside plans to give 10 percent of its earnings to the Mashpee tribe. Another percentage would go toward a nonprofit in the area, Mr. Cramer said.
Since voters rejected a ban on the recreational marijuana industry at Town Meeting in October, the town has received six applicants looking to set up shop. Only one permit is available in Mashpee, however.
Last week, the Mashpee Board of Selectmen, with applicant representatives in the audience looking on, decided to assign a committee of town officials the task of reviewing the six applications before the board moves forward. The Cannabis Control Commission, a state entity, will have the final say on the applications.
Greenerside is one of those applicants under review.
Aside from providing 10 percent to the tribe, Mr. Cramer said that they will look to hire members of the tribe and pay them a good salary. He expects to employ 10 to 15 tribal members, if given the go-ahead from the town and state.
“When we thought about doing this, we wanted to give back to our tribe,” Mr. Cramer said. “We’re not just giving back the 10 percent, but we’re giving them good jobs and training.”
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Greenerside is working with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, to formalize an agreement. Similar to the Mashpee Economic Development Corporation, the tribal entity is aimed at bringing development and funding to tribal members.
Mr. Cramer, a graduate of Boston College, grew up in Boston, but he says that he really grew up in Mashpee, where he spent much of his time with family. His mother, Donna Jonas Cramer, was born and raised in Mashpee and was the first generation in the family to move from town. She has partnered with her son on the marijuana shop proposal.
The group is not new to the industry. While he could not share details at this time, Mr. Cramer said that he has two host agreements in place for retail stores including in Boston and southern Massachusetts. They also have plans for a cultivation plant in the western part of the state.
In May, the Cannabis Control Commission announced that Mr. Cramer was one of 123 others certified as an “Economic Empowerment Applicant.” Per its regulations, the commission prioritizes evaluation of and decisions for these economic empowerment companies, essentially giving them priority in its approval process.
When the announcement was made, the executive director of the commission, Shawn Collins, was quoted in a press release saying that the goal of the priority status was to ensure equal participation in the new recreational marijuana industry “by existing Massachusetts businesses and entrepreneurs who are focused on supporting disproportionately impacted communities.”
Applicants for the priority status were required to demonstrate residency, experience or business practices that promote economic empowerment in communities “disproportionately impacted by marijuana enforcement,” as the press release stated. Groups had to meet a number of criteria to receive the priority distinction.
The Cramers have volunteered and sat on a number of boards, committees and housing authorities that aim to help impacted communities such as inner cities around the state. Ms. Cramer is currently the board president of Nuestra Comunidad board of directors, a nonprofit that develops affordable housing and promotes revitalization of Roxbury and Greater Boston.
A filing in Mashpee Town Hall shows Greenerside has proposed an estimated 3,500-square-foot to 6,000-square-foot building at 41 Mercantile Way. To accommodate traffic, the company proposes using either a satellite parking area along with a shuttle system, or an adjacent parking lot. The proposed site is situated toward the rear of the industrial park off Route 28 near the Falmouth town border, or about 3 minutes from Mashpee Commons.