On Monday, July 11, the Shinnecock Indian nation teamed with TILT Holdings to host their official groundbreaking ceremony for the Indigenous-owned cannabis dispensary they are opening in Southampton, New York, Little Beach Harvest. TILT Holdings, a company dedicated to products and services around the cannabis industry, partnered with the Shinnecock nation to create this first-of-a kind project that seeks to uphold the cultural significance of cannabis while supplying the product to the surrounding area, with hopes of growing their own product in the future.
The Shinnecock People
The Shinnecock are an Indigenous community who have occupied the land for nearly 13,000 years. Tribes local to New England are “first contact tribes,” meaning they “were the first to come into contact with the European settlers.” Traditionally, they spoke the Algonquin language. We spoke with Chenae Bullock, the Managing Director of Little Beach Harvest, who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony, one dedicated to giving thanks to life and the reclamation of the land that could have been stolen from them.
Chenae discussed the significance of cannabis to the community, saying that it aligns with their belief in “unmanicured land,” preserving hemp and cannabis to produce the purest, best products. They believe that cannabis as a remedy is extremely beneficial and wish to promote more holistic and altruistic ways of healing.
They also work closely with the teenagers of the tribe to research Indigenous ecological knowledge to grow understanding of the importance of hemp and cannabis. They seek to spread the importance of harmony and reciprocity with the Earth. Chenae says that working with the tribal members promotes “economy within community.”
Little Beach Harvest and TILT Holdings
We also spoke with members of the TILT business, who helped in the process of creating Little Beach Harvest. Dana Arvidson, the Chief Operating Officer of TILT Holdings, who gave us a lot of intonation on the partnership between the company and the Shinnecock people. She described the project as “more than just a financial opportunity,” but one for the purpose of upholding the Shinnecok customs and traditions.
Public Reception and Future Plans
The Little Beach Harvest project has been received with positivity from the surrounding Southampton community, Dana noted. It is important to bring these practices to the public to show how traditionally significant cannabis use is. The dispensary also gives the community an opportunity to engage with the Shinnecock people and learn about their cultural customs.
Chenae tells us that the dispensary is just phase 1 of this project. In the future, they plan to build a “wellness lounge” to create a greater experience for their users. Ultimately, Chenae and Dana share, they hope to cultivate their own products and to work with other tribes in the area and throughout the country.
The Indigenous-owned Little Beach Harvest dispensary will open in early 2023. You can find out more about the project and other cannabis-related information here.
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