Entrepreneur hopes to soothe pain with marijuana-based topicals

Mar 12, 2020

Jeanine MacKenzie, of BeachGrass Topicals, held an informational presentation at Wareham Town Hall on Thursday morning, March 12, to discuss her plans to use a facility in East Wareham to manufacture cannabis-based topical products for medicinal purposes. 

The proposed facility would be located at 3103 Cranberry Highway, in the same plaza as Pizza Boy and Anytime Fitness. MacKenzie explained that she would manufacture products in her facility and sell them to local dispensaries. No products would be sold to the public directly from her facility. 

The topical products would be made from CBD and THC extracts and essential oils. They would primarily be used for pain relief, and while they are made from the main components of marijuana, the topical products do not produce a psychoactive effect. 

MacKenzie said that she started using topical products a couple years ago when she was suffering from severe arthritis in her feet, as well as hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that can cause swelling of the thyroid gland. 

“Life was a little bit challenging for a while,” she said. 

After using a topical pain relief product, she said that her condition was greatly improved. 

“It was as if the sky opened up, the sun shined down, and it was a brand new day,” she said.

From there, she began making her own products, and now makes CBD-based topical products from her home. 

If the proposed facility on Cranberry Highway is approved, MacKenzie said that she will employ one full-time worker and one part-time worker to start. In each of the next two years, she would hire two new full-time employees. 

She added that she would prioritise hiring Wareham residents, and that BeachGrass Topicals would pay a 3% community impact fee to the town of Wareham.

To gain approval from the town, MacKenzie’s proposal must first go through the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Selectmen. At the state level, she will need approval from the Cannabis Control Commission. 

Town Planner Kenneth Buckland said he couldn’t be exactly sure how long it would take for MacKenzie to gain approval to use the facility, but gave a rough estimate of about six months to one year.

The presentation on March 12 was purely informational, and was intended to give residents a chance to voice their concerns and questions. No decisions were made by any town, or state officials at the presentation.