FALL RIVER — Partnerships with local nonprofits and an emphasis on community relations highlighted the most recent state-mandated public outreach meeting for a planned Fall River marijuana dispensary.
Aura Cannabis – which plans to open a recreational dispensary on Mariano Bishop Boulevard – is one of 10 companies trying to secure the state Cannabis Control Commission’s approval to open some form of marijuana business in Fall River. As part of that process, the company was required to host a community outreach forum with city residents.
Much of Monday’s meeting hit the same familiar beats of previous forums. The company’s spokespeople went over security precautions, traffic impacts and site plans, but Aura Cannabis representatives also noted initiatives they hope will distinguish their dispensary from others in Fall River.
Aura Cannabis has agreed to annually contribute portions of its profits to United Way of Greater Fall River and the Veterans Association of Bristol County, based in Fall River.
“We met with both groups several times to find out what their needs are,” said Aura Cannabis President Jason Delamater. “Basically, we can help fund them and they can make sure everyone they help are appropriately receiving money.”
While unable to say exactly how much of the dispensary’s revenues will go to each nonprofit, Delamater said he expected Aura Cannabis would have an amount agreed upon sometime in the next few weeks. He estimated that it would likely be within the range of 1 to 2 percent of annual sales.
Charitable donations are not unheard of within the marijuana retail industry. True Nature’s Wellness, a company trying to open a dispensary in Swansea, included a promised annual payment of $25,000 to a public charity of its host community’s choosing as part of the host community agreement it signed with town officials.
Fall River, however, has