Home-delivery cannabis operation seeks to open in Wareham

Feb 11, 2021

Another cannabis business, referred to as The Emerald Turtle, is pursuing licensing to open in Wareham.

With plans to operate out of a location at 10 Little Brook Road, Aaron and Janelle Goines would cultivate and manufacture a variety of cannabis products — and deliver them directly to customers. 

At a community outreach meeting on Feb. 11, Blake Mensing, legal counsel for Emerald Turtle Cove Management, explained that the Goines plan to apply for three licenses from the state Cannabis Control Commission: a wholesale delivery model license, a cultivation license and a product manufacturing license.

Mensing noted that the delivery license was newly created by the commission and made exclusively available to economic empowerment applicants and social equity program participants such as Aaron and Janelle Goines. 

The social equity program was designed to benefit disproportionately harmed people, whom the state described as “those most impacted by the War on Drugs, marijuana prohibition, disproportionate arrests and incarceration.” Similarly, the economic empowerment priority application review was available to those whose business practices promote “economic empowerment in disproportionately impacted communities.” Wareham is one of those disproportionately impacted communities.

Mensing said the license would entitle the Goines to take “warehouse products — their own or at-purchase from other wholesalers — and then do direct-to-consumer delivery solely to that person’s primary residence.” 

Aaron Goines, speaking at the outreach meeting, said the company’s exact delivery radius hadn’t been decided yet.

“That’s going to be ongoing and developing,” he said. “We’re going to have to measure demand and get a frank idea of where, exactly, that’s going to take us. But just from a very baseline sort of projection, you can make the assumption that the South Shore would be our immediate addressable market that we would be seeking to go after.”

Mensing noted that it would not be possible to deliver cannabis products to a hotel or dorm room and said the state has still not decided if it would be possible to deliver to secondary residences such as summer homes.

The sale of cannabis products would still be age-restricted to those 21 and older, Mensing said. He also noted that delivery recipients “must be in a town that allows cannabis retail.”

The Goines’ manufacturing license would allow the company to process their harvests into a variety of end-use cannabis products, Mensing said, such as “pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, balms, salves, vapes, etcetera — anything that’s not a bag of weed, essentially.”

Apart from the delivery model, Emerald Turtle Cove’s customers on the cultivation and manufacturing side would only be other licensed cannabis sellers, Mensing said. Primarily, he thought that would be brick-and-mortar retail stores.

There would be no on-site sales to customers. 

During the meeting, Mensing covered the stringent security mechanisms that would be in place. Among other security features, he noted that only individuals age 21 and older would be allowed in the facility, commercial-grade locks would be used and security cameras would be operating in nearly all parts of the facility.

As part of their efforts to positively impact the community, Aaron and Janelle Goines are also planning a project to “assist other social equity applicants to obtain licensure” to cultivate, manufacture or sell cannabis. Several meeting attendees spoke in support of the Goines’ efforts to help them obtain state licensure.

Most of the meeting attendees who spoke were friends and associates of the Goines, who spoke highly of their efforts to help other applicants obtain licensure.

“Aaron and Janelle have been examples on the equity front for these new license types for a while now, and they’re really standard-bearers, and they’ve been an open book for all of us,” said Dan Berger, who spoke in the Goines’ favor. “So they really are an example of what license holders should be in this state, so anyone living in Wareham rest assured you’ve got some great operators on your hands.”

The next step for Emerald Turtle Cove will be to work toward negotiating a host community agreement with the Town of Wareham and to go through the local permitting process, Mensing said. After that, the company will apply for licenses from the Cannabis Control Commission. 

At the earliest, Mensing estimated the Goines’ operation could launch in seven months, but he said it was more likely it would take nine to 12 months.