Canna Provisions CEO Meg Sanders and COO Erik Williams, industry veterans from shared time in the trenches in Colorado (the birthplace of adult-use legalization in America) would like a word. Because the Northeast cannabis market where they opened their first Canna Provisions store in Lee, Massachusetts - about 15 minutes from the New York state border - reopened to the public on Memorial Day.
The duo and their adult-use recreational cannabis retail brand have already amassed a loyal following. Not only the locals of Berkshire County, but also the throngs of tourists and visitors to the sprawling treelines and roadways that break and heave through the mountains in the shadow of wellness country (see: two top wellness retreats, Canyon Ranch and Miraval Berkshires, where Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres are constructing dedicated sections for themselves).
Since opening in July of 2019, it’s been the ability of Sanders and Willams and their entire diverse staff to pivot on a dime and rethink - sometimes down to the very philosophy of how retail design can reflect the spirit and energy of the community it serves - as well as how they can best serve the widest range of cannabis consumers while alienating none of them.
Along the way they’ve had to endure the vape ban controversy that ripped across the country in 2019 and left a lot of harm and shattered businesses in its wake, not to mention the onset of the first official plague of the 21st Century.
What that means: It means in an industry that’s already over-regulated and controlled for consumer safety above all else, Canna Provisions is quite used to pivoting on a dime without sacrificing the experience, customer service, and product selection to their loyal cannabis customers.
But now that they have reopened with strict vigilance to all appropriate COVID procedures mandated by the state (as well as those instilled by the company to ensure consumers and customers can safely access and enjoy their purchases from order to packaging to exit), those mandated by the state (as well as those instilled by the company to ensure consumers and customers can safely access and enjoy their purchases from order to packaging to exit), those looking access and enjoy their purchases from order to packaging to exit), those looking for one of the largest and most diverse selection of cannabis and cannabis products from the best farms, cultivators, brands, and manufacturers serving the Massachusetts recreational cannabis market can rejoice.
Not only are fan favorites coming back - Heirloom Collective, Gibby’s Garden, Howl’s Tinctures, Incredibles and SIRA, but there’s a host of other products and brands coming into the fold with Canna Provisions - Nature’s Heritage flower, Betty’s Edibles, Kalm tablets , Chemdog Glass, Chocolate Do Drops and more!
Of course, for those that see a menu that regularly boasts over 100 products and items from small craft cultivators up through the state’s leading large scale distributors and manufacturers, let alone some of the most choice concentrates, edibles, and new products available in the Massachusetts market, it would be understandable if one feels overwhelmed.
No worries. That’s where Canna Provisions really starts to shine.
“People are looking for guidance around cannabis products, but too often dispensaries just don’t provide it,” Ms. Sanders said. “At Canna Provisions, we’re going beyond basic transactions and elevating the standard for cannabis customer service. We want to offer everyone who walks through our doors a thoughtfully curated experience.”
Naturally, that has meant constantly adapting to the daily changing dynamics of life before, during, and after COVID, whenever that is.
So until things calm down and life resumes some semblance of normalcy, visiting Canna Provisions will still have the benefit of interaction (socially distant) with Green Flower certified on-site guides with a deep wellspring of knowledge and product alignment with customer goals and wants from their cannabis shopping experience.
If this seems like more than just a dispensary with doors open and flower to sling, that’s probably because the owners are not exactly spring chickens in the cannabis game (though their 13 chickens living at their Lee, MA home are).
Ms. Sanders helped open one of Colorado’s first dispensaries in 2010, and was among key stakeholders who assisted then-Gov. John Hickenlooper and state officials in developing retail cannabis laws. Mr. Williams, in addition to being a longtime political consultant across the country, served as Executive Director of the Connecticut NORML, where he led decriminalization efforts and was integral in passing Connecticut’s medical marijuana law through its Legislature. Together, they bring deep expertise in cultivation, strain selection, regulatory compliance and retail management to Canna Provisions.
Easthampton is the next Massachusetts city where Canna Provisions is planting a flag, and the eclectic Pioneer Valley vibe and COVID-vigilant May 25 store opening will commence with similar pre-orders and curbside operations compliant with the town and the state. Following that, Holyoke will be getting their own Canna Provisions in canal-adjacent former artists colony and historic papermill, slated to open in early summer 2020.