The story behind Seagrass Salem Dispensary – Wicked Local


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“March is International Seagrass awareness month,” said Chip Tuttle, CEO of Seagrass, displaying a product marking the event with a container entirely sourced from reclaimed sea plastic. “Seagrass and eel grass beds ensure a healthy marine environment.”

The 58-year-old Salem native is committed to protecting the health and resilience of Salem Sound. In fact, the first thing that visitors notice when they enter the cavernous building is a giant map of Salem Sound splashed across the wall.

“We’re trying to be an environmentally-conscious cannabis company,” he said. “Surprisingly, this is not a very green industry. Massive amounts of energy are needed to cultivate the product and there is a great deal of single-use plastic packaging.”

Under its community host agreement with the city of Salem, Seagrass will make an annual $50,000 to Salem Sound Coast Watch. In addition, the Salem company will donate $25,000 to North Shore Community Health Center in Salem and $25,000 to the North Shore Community Development Coalition. 

It’s no coincidence that the new dispensary is called Seagrass. The name was suggested by Tuttle’s daughter, Annie, who works for an environmental startup in London, he said.

The building once housed Deschamps Printing and Hank Deschamps is still the landlord. “Hank introduced us to the North Shore CDC,” said Tuttle, who in turn referred us to Curiot, the Mexican muralist who painted the eye-popping undersea mural in rich blues and greens that covers the building.

“We had no input into the design but when we saw the finished product we were amazed. It’s pretty iconic and provides people with a sense of place,” Tuttle said.

Tuttle reflected on being a part of the “renaissance of downtown Salem.” As a fourth generation Salemite whose father was the city electrician, Tuttle fondly recalled eating at the long-gone Almy’s lunch counter and shopping

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