The Shinnecock Indian Nation of New York on Monday began construction of a cannabis dispensary on its tribal lands in eastern Long Island. The new venture, a collaboration between the Shinnecock Nation and international cannabis firm Tilt Holdings, Inc., will feature Little Beach Harvest, a 5,000-square-foot cannabis dispensary located on Shinnecock tribal territory in Southampton, New York.
“I am thrilled to start construction on such an important project for the Shinnecock Nation,” Shinnecock Nation Chairman Bryan Polite said in a statement from the joint venture. “Little Beach Harvest has been working hard with our partner, TILT Holdings, to ensure a first-class dispensary for the New York market. This construction kick-off is a step forward for the Shinnecock Nation and I am excited to be a part of such an amazing journey.”
Those attending Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony included the Shinnecock Nation’s Council of Trustees, Chairman Bryan Polite, the Shinnecock Cannabis Regulatory Division, and tribal members including Chenae Bullock, the managing director of Little Beach Harvest. TILT’s chief operating officer Dana Arvidson, chief financial officer Brad Hoch and state and local officials also attended the event.
Joint Venture on Tribal Lands
The wholly tribal-owned cannabis operation is a partnership between TILT and the Shinnecock Nation and is the culmination of six years of lobbying, outreach, development, and planning by the two entities. Through a joint venture with the Shinnecock Nation’s cannabis economic development firm Conor Green, TILT is financing, building, and providing management services to Little Beach Harvest.
The development of the vertically integrated operation begins this year with the construction of the dispensary and a cannabis cultivation facility. The dispensary is expected to be completed by early next year, while construction on the cannabis cultivation facility will begin by the end of 2022. Future projects planned for the site include a wellness and consumption lounge. The Shinnecock Cannabis Regulatory Division will regulate all operations for each component according to the Shinnecock Nation’s tribal cannabis laws.
“It’s incredible to think that we gathered here almost a year ago to announce our partnership. Now, we return to the Shinnecock Nation’s sovereign land to kick off construction, which is truly a substantial milestone in our journey to create social equity for the Shinnecock Nation,” said Arvidson. “Now, we move forward together in building out not only the physical structure of Little Beach Harvest, but our plan in bringing forward plant medicine as an economic engine for the Shinnecock.”
Dispensary Features Organic Design Aesthetic
Little Beach Harvest will feature a 5,000-square-foot dispensary space and offer drive-through service along the main Southampton roadway, “creating a unique engagement point between the First People and the Hamptons community” only minutes from Southampton’s business district, according to a statement from the Shinnecock Nation.
Current design plans for Little Beach Harvest by T-Arch Studios showcase an organic aesthetic reflective of the Shinnecock Nation’s connection to the area, with natural stone and light wood elements for both the interior and exterior of the dispensary. The Shinnecock Nation Environmental Department, Natural Resources Department and Cultural Enrichment Department worked closely with Little Beach Harvest to ensure that proper tribal protocols were followed before clearing the land developed for the facility.
Bullock, an enrolled member of the Shinnecock Nation, noted, “Anything we envision as a Shinnecock People has to always be for the next seven generations and beyond.”
“The Little Beach Harvest dispensary will be a place where we can share with the world our culture, honor this sacred plant, increase awareness and provide resources for the Shinnecock Nation,” said Bullock. “People who come to our traditional lands to shop in our dispensary will contribute to our economic sustainability. For thousands of years, the people of the Shinnecock Nation have contributed to environmental sustainability, and we are now in times that we can develop economic sustainability through the cannabis industry to continue our stewardship to the earth.”