| G. Michael Dobbs
HOLYOKE – Holyoke is the location for the newest cannabis dispensary and the company’s CEO said the new store would help bring people to the city and encourage the growth of other businesses.
Meg Sanders, the CEO of Canna Provision explained to Reminder Publishing the Holyoke location at 380 Dwight St. is part of an expansion. The company started in Lee and is acquiring The Verb is Herb dispensary in Easthampton. It has also applied to the Cannabis Control Commission for grow facilities in Sheffield and Lee with both in production by later in the fall.
Sanders said she is “really excited” about the company’s growth into Holyoke. She said that in her 11 years in the regulated cannabis business she has seen how other businesses follow retail cannabis.
She said she shared Mayor Alex Morse’s vision of cannabis sales and production playing a major role in the economic development for the Paper City. The new store has created 32 jobs with many staffers from Holyoke.
“Many of them walk to work,” she said.
Ultimately, based on approvals from the state, Sanders sees amenities such as a tasting room, yoga and massage facilities, as well as a restaurant with infused food items being offered.
With more stores opening in Hampden County – 6 Bricks in Springfield received its State Provisional License from the CCC last week – Sanders predicted there will be greater competition between stores.
Sanders worked in the legal industry in California, Colorado and Illinois and said the industry “got it wrong” in Colorado. She said what was lacking was “a commitment, a vision about why they’re doing this.”
She added, “At the end of the day it was super transactional.”
She sees cannabis sales differently. There needs to be a lot of interaction between the consumer and the retailer. Coming to Canna Provisions affords a customer the “the opportunity to ask a lot of questions.” She noted that coming to the new store is an “experiential transaction.”
She said the new Holyoke location is “more of a gallery where you can buy cannabis than just a store.”
In the pandemic era, she said the Holyoke store has been designed with social distancing in mind. Customers can shop inside or preorder cannabis from the website and then do curbside pickup.
For more information, go to https://cannaprovisionsgroup.com/dispensaries/holyoke/.