Cannabis manufacturer hopes to open in old Ocean Spray building

Sep 28, 2020

The owners of YouCanBeCo LLC, a cannabis manufacturing company hoping to open in Wareham, plan to bring their business skills and experience with regulators to the cannabis industry as they manufacture tinctures, extracts, and edibles for those who aren’t fans of gummies and chocolate. They explained their business plans during an informational meeting on September 25.

The company, owned by Michele Hanson and Steve Sapir, would operate out of part of the building at 3065 Cranberry Highway, which is also home to the Cranberry Flea Market and Bob’s Discount Home Store.

As a manufacturer, the location would not be open to the public, and no retail sales would take place there. Sapir said that residents would likely not even know that the business was there, once it opens. 

The company plans to have extensive security measures, including 24/7 surveillance, security cameras recording everywhere in the building, comprehensive background checks on all employees, and an extensive alarm system. The company would also work closely with the Wareham Police Department.

YouCanBeCo will also work hard to make sure that their products don’t end up in the hands of people under the age of 21. No one with a history of distributing to minors would be hired, and edibles will be designed to be as unappealing to children and young people as possible. That means no edibles that “resemble a realistic or fictional human, animal, or fruit, including artistic caricature, or cartoon renderings.” 

Sapir said that the facility will be “discreet, quiet, and low-profile.”
The company has signed a host community agreement with the town, and will pay three percent of its revenues to the town as a community impact fee for the first five years of operation.

When hiring, priority will be given to Wareham residents, and a number of local contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other technicians will be employed as the facility is built out.

YouCanBeCo is currently working on completing its application to the Cannabis Control Commission, and Hanson said she hopes the company can begin work in 2021.

The company would purchase cannabis from growers in Massachusetts and process that to create extracts, tinctures, and edibles. A tincture is a solution made from THC oil (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) and other oils, which is taken by putting a few drops under the tongue.

The founders noted that most of the edibles currently available in Massachusetts are sugary gummies or chocolates, and they hope to create edibles for people looking for a less-sweet alternatives. 

Hanson and Sapir said they met working in the finance industry, and both have experience with business development, operations, risk management, and compliance with regulations. Hanson said that she thinks of the Cannabis Control Commission, which regulates the cannabis business in Massachusetts, as being very similar to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates financial markets.

Sapir said he began his career as a chemical nuclear weapons expert for the Army Corp of Engineers. 

Over the last few years, the pair decided that they wanted to get out of the corporate world and run their own business. They analyzed opportunities available to them, and saw that the cannabis industry was profitable and growing fast.

“We also happen to be big fans of the plant,” Sapir said. “We believe in the power of the plant. I’m a former soldier, and I’ve seen tons of my former soldiers find relief from PTSD with the plant -- folks with chronic pain, folks with anxiety, folks with difficulty sleeping, and folks that just want to relax and chill out for a night.” 

For more information about the company, or to ask the founders a question, go to