As adult-use cannabis shapes up in states such as Massachusetts on the East Coast, dispensaries are increasing in size, pushing the competition. On April 29, Ascend Wellness, an enormous cannabis dispensary chain, launched a soft opening of a large location in Boston, Massachusetts.
The 16,000-square-foot dispensary is located on Friend Street across from North Station and TD Garden. The company gained support from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission before opening.
It will be the largest dispensary in Boston and perhaps New England. Yahoo! News reported that Ascend Wellness is the “largest marijuana dispensary on the East Coast.” While Ascend Wellness is indeed large, it pales in comparison to dispensaries in other states in other areas of the U.S. Planet 13 Superstore in Las Vegas, Nevada for instance, is much larger at 115,000 square feet. This is due to the fact that most East Coast states were slower to legalize adult-use cannabis compared to states such as Colorado and the western seaboard.
Ahead of the grand opening ceremony, locals responded mostly positively. “We’ll be watching,” Jane Wilson, a former president of the West End Civic Association, told the Boston Herald. “They agreed to make it the most safe, most monitored and agreed upon the rules.”
The dispensary chain’s website promises “a wide selection of high-quality cannabis products, a digital ordering experience and knowledgeable budtenders in a safe environment.” Three other recreational dispensaries have opened in the city’s outer neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and East Boston.
Officials at Ascend Wellness plan to open two more retail cannabis stores, one in Newton and another in New Bedford. The company has already expanded to Illinois and New Jersey, where both medical patients and legal adult-use consumers are served.
Meanwhile, Ascend Wellness Holdings announced the pricing of is Initial Public Offering (IPO)—10 million shares set at $8.
Massachusetts voters approved adult-use cannabis and sales back in 2016. The Boston Herald reports that most commenters from the West End didn’t object to the opening of the store, suggesting that it is a progressively motivated neighborhood, at least regarding cannabis.