the greeneway wellness foundation

When the Greeneway Wellness Foundation received a provisional license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the City of Cambridge, their application received top marks in almost every category - except community process. The shortcoming manifested itself when the East Cambridge residents learned that the Greeneway intended to site its dispensary at One First Street. Outraged residents called on their elected officials to stop the process and local and regional press wrote about the furor. In danger of losing its designation, the Greeneway hired Novus. Novus thereafter managed the existing crisis, identified and began permitting a new site, positively engaged and educated the Cambridge community, and developed a new community supported vision for The Greeneway.

Elected Outreach

Novus proactively sought input from local elected officials on siting and community outreach. The Greeneway’s project ultimately received five letters of support from the Cambridge City Council to the Department of Public Health and a unanimous vote of support as the only applicant to site a medical marijuana dispensary in Cambridge.

Crisis Communications

Novus mitigated the impact of negative press and community outreach in East Cambridge through targeted neighborhood outreach and strategic messaging designed to calm residents and business owners.


Community Process

Novus launched an aggressive community outreach campaign to educate residents, local business owners, community activists and patients about The Greeneway. The Novus team canvassed the surrounding community, spoke at business association meetings and coordinated community gatherings to ensure that The Greeneway would be viewed as a good neighbor with a foundation of community support.

Site Identification & Permitting

Novus worked with The Greeneway to identify, lease and permit an appropriate site for a medical marijuana usage. The site ultimately received enough local support to submit a citizens support petition signed by the 26 households that were closest to the project. Their zoning petition received full support from the City of Cambridge’s Planning Board.

Novus took what had been a controversial topic and turned it into something that the community embraced. They then converted that community support into Cambridge City Council support and momentum within the City’s bureaucracy.
— John Greene, CEO, Greeneway Wellness Foundation