Greatest Hits brings a rock ‘n’ roll touch to the Dudley store
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s no shortage of dispensaries in Massachusetts anymore.
According to data released at the last meeting of the Cannabis Control Commission, 223 cannabis retailers have received state approval to begin operations. With approximately 4,587,935 Massachusetts residents over the age of 21 (according to the latest census data), this is approximately one dispensary for every 20,666 potential clients (in the state).
There’s also no shortage of people in the pipeline for dispensary licenses. Another 169 applicants have reached the provisional or final license stage of the process.
With so many dispensaries operating in Massachusetts, businesses must find unique ways to make their store stand out in the sea of weed retailers.
A newly launched company is betting that music is the best way to connect with cannabis users.
Greatest Hits is a vertically integrated cannabis company that is the brainchild of Rhett Jordan – the founder of Native Roots, one of Colorado’s largest dispensary chains – and Joseph Villatico, a Webster native with a background in the beverage industry.
The Dudley location had its soft open in April, but celebrated its official grand opening with a block party last Saturday. Vendors and food trucks lined the parking lot, while live musical performances played on a stage set up next to the dispensary building.
The Hard Rock-inspired decor is a bit of a departure from the Apple Store model that many dispensaries have adopted in recent years. Intended to mimic the familiar layout and design of the store where you would buy an iPhone, the dispensaries opted for features such as floor-to-ceiling windows and minimalist wooden display cases, aiming to attract new cannabis consumers who might be put off by the seediest dispensaries of yesteryear.
While these types of designs may allay the fears of new consumers who are unfamiliar with the process of buying marijuana, these types of designs can sometimes feel a little sterile for a place where you buy cannabis.
Greatest Hits borrows a few of their features from the Apple Store model – customers are free to wander around the store while employees take orders on tablets – but there are also some notable differences. They opted for poured concrete floors instead of the hardwood you see at many other dispensaries, and chose pendant lights instead of track or recessed lighting. The theme music is also evident throughout; guitars and other music-inspired decorations dot the lobby walls. They also plan to bring as much live music to the site as possible, either in the store itself or on a stage set up in the parking lot.
In addition to in-store music, corporate image is naturally tied to concert sponsorship, creating an advertising opportunity in a state where dispensaries have only a handful of legal means to promote their business without infringing advertising regulations. There’s also no shortage of music venues in central Massachusetts that they could partner with.
While Greatest Hits currently relies on the wholesale market to source its products, its own line of cannabis products is in the works. Behind their store in Dudley is a huge mill that will be used as a grow space. Originally built in 1864 as a paper mill, the building was also used to construct caskets during the Civil War. It’s been used primarily as a storage space for the past few decades, but this project will bring the space back to life. The building is one of many local factories and mills built in the 19th century that have been converted into cannabis cultivation facilities in recent years.
Greatest Hits also have a product manufacturing license for the site and are in the process of building a space that will allow them to launch their own line of concentrates and edibles, hopefully allowing them to create a line of products that can be the main staples of their menu.
As well as the flagship location in Dudley, dispensaries in Taunton and Lynn are also in the works.
Only time will tell if Greatest Hit’s theme music strikes a chord with consumers. With no cap on the number of dispensaries that will be allowed to open in Massachusetts, the day when there are simply too many outlets and not enough customers could be looming in the not too distant future. In addition to having competitive pricing and exclusive access to high-demand products, cannabis retailers are going to have to find creative ways to continue connecting with customers and surviving the turmoil in the industry.