After years of red tape, permitting, city and state approvals and construction, East Boston’s second adult-use cannabis dispensary will open at 220 McClellan Highway–the former site of Enterprise Rental Car facility.
Newton-based Happy Valley Ventures LLC, which was originally approved to be a medical-use cannabis dispensary before voters approved recreational use in the state, will officially open its doors on Thursday, June 24.
Inside Happy Valley’s Eastie location customers will be buzzed into the foyer and then into the main showroom for what Happy Valley’s VP of Technology and Marketing Gregg Weiss said is an experience like no other for a cannabis dispensary.
The sleek showroom has several display cases featuring Happy Valley’s flower, edible and concentrated cannabis products complete with descriptions.
Customers can peruse the display cases or use one of the interactive touchscreen displays to find the product they are in search for.
“Some of the smaller dispensaries do not have the space available for a large showroom and a lot of the product is featured and explained online,” explained Weiss. “Customers simply arrive at other dispensaries, wait in line, pick up their product and go home. We wanted this dispensary to be more of an experience. What’s different between this location and our location in Gloucester is that it’s about two or three times the size. We have the display cases, artwork, touchscreen displays where customers can answer a few questions and are then paired with a product so it is a very different experience.”
Weiss and Happy Valley General Manager Gilly Motta said they really want the Eastie dispensary to become a showcase for Happy Valley products.
“What’s different about Happy Valley, compared to some other dispensaries, is that we are a vertically integrated dispensary with our own Happy Valley cannabis products,” said Weiss. “We cultivate and manufacture in Gloucester. So all our flowers, edibles, tinctures, oil solvents are done in Gloucester and shipped to East Boston. We also sell wholesale to other dispensaries across the state. So this store is really a showcase for our own product, our own brand. We are really building a premium brand here on the East Coast.”
Happy Valley can be compared more to an Apple Store than a run of the mill dispensary. With its cool vibe of artwork, screen displays and high tech software, Motta said Happy Valley really stands out in the dispensary industry.
“Our cannabis hosts are super knowledgeable about all of the products,” said Motta. “So as Gregg said, you can use the touchscreen displays but we’ll also have our hosts in the showroom to help guide customers into making a decision on what products best suit them. That’s another benefit of being vertically integrated and not being dependent upon a wholesaler. We grow our own products and make our own edibles and things. This is our product line and that’s what you see–the brand that we’re building. Would you rather go to Best Buy and buy an iPhone or the Apple Store. Sure the sales rep at Best Buy knows a lot about the iPhone but has to know about all the other phones he’s selling whereas the “Apple Store” sales rep has way more knowledge about the iPhone because that is the only product he needs to sell. So Happy Valley is sort of that concept where our staff is really knowledgeable on the products because they are our products. Other dispensaries have a revolving inventory of products from different wholesalers. If you’re just a retailer and you’re not vertically integrated you’re just trying to fill up your shelves and move new products and you’re kind of constricted by the wholesale market. Here, all the education is around our own product and we get way more granular with our product line versus somebody dropping off an order of product from five different wholesalers. We have a two week training course that everybody goes through on our products because it’s way more thorough. It’s impossible for a typical retailer in this industry to be super knowledgeable about all his products when he has 50 different wholesalers on his shelf.”
While most cannabis shoppers pick dispensaries for both price and convenience Weiss and Motta hope Happy Valley provides more of an experience.
“We want them to leave saying, “Wow, that was an experience I’ve never had at a dispensary”, said Weiss. “And we want that experience to bring them back and hopefully they bring their friends because it was the best experience they had.” For more information on hours, products, online ordering and other info visit www.happyvalley.org