In just three years, Massachusetts has become one of America’s great cannabis success stories. Since the state’s adult-use stores opened in 2018, consumers have purchased more than $2 billion in products from an expanding selection of outlets.
As of 2021, more than 360 retail store licenses had been approved, and dozens of outlets are open around the state.
How to find your fave? We’re here to help. We’ve gathered a list of some of the most interesting, intriguing, curious, and surprising stores in the state. They may not all be the biggest or the splashiest, but they’ve all got compelling stories behind their success.
Don’t forget your ID, your cash, and your curiosity. There’s always an enticing new product out there worth trying.
430 Blue Hill Ave., Boston
Boston’s first rec shop opened in March 2020 and quickly gained a reputation as one of the most customer-friendly stores in the state. As a Black-owned business, Pure Oasis is one of Massachusetts’ thriving equity companies.
Owners Kobie Evans, a former real estate agent, and Kevin Hart, a hospital operations director, came up with the idea for Pure Oasis over beers at Slade’s in 2016. As the Boston Globe reported, Evans told Hart about “this weed thing coming down the pipeline. Some people are going to be able to take advantage of it.” And they thought, “Wait a minute, we are those guys.”
The result: A store that quickly became a beloved Blue Hill Avenue institution. Check out their wide selection of concentrates, and get on their text list for new strain drop alerts.
272 Friend Street, Boston
Location, location, location: Massachusetts’ largest cannabis store is situated a short walk from North Station, right around the corner from TD Garden. Ascend Wellness is the perfect store to hit up when you’re in town for a concert, event, or Bruins game. We’d love to share a smoke with the bronze Bobby Orr, but public consumption is verboten in Boston.
Boston: Neighboring Towns
Some of the state’s best medical-only dispensaries are located in the towns just beyond the Boston city limits.
67 Broadway, Somerville (medical only)
541 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (medical only)
When other dispensaries opened up to adult use customers, Revolutionary Clinics doubled down on its commitment to medical marijuana patients.
That commitment to the medical side makes Revolutionary’s Somerville and Cambridge dispensaries (both medical-only) the go-to sources for patients looking for personal consultations, precision modalities and dosages, and consistent medical products.
29 Franklin Street, Needham Heights (medical only)
240 Elm Street, Somerville (medical only)
For patients who need higher levels of THC, Sira Naturals takes special pride in the company’s in-house concentrates like wax and live rosin, whose production is overseen by extractions manager Tom Steckbeck. Sira’s staff members are also knowledgable on issues like nausea relief and opioid reduction.
75 Pleasant Street, Brockton
Top-notch flower and a friendly, diverse staff are hallmarks of this thriving adult-use store. Community is important to Jean-Baptiste and her staff, and that starts with the store’s central location in the heart of Brockton, near clothing stores, an Ace Hardware, local restaurants, grocery stores, and churches.
416 Boston Post Road NE, Marlborough
This pioneering medical marijuana dispensary company, founded in 2013 by Dr. Karen Munkacy, has expanded to become one of the state’s most successful adult-use operations.
Munkacy’s own inspiring story of overcoming cancer in her 40s provided Garden Remedies with its foundational principle: provide high-quality cannabis to medical marijuana patients. That focus on quality has expanded into the adult-use space, and the company now has three stores serving the Bay State med and rec market, in Marlborough, Melrose, and Newton.
665 Cochituate Street, Framingham
Temescal Wellness‘ commitment to high-quality products isn’t just lip service. In 2020 the company famously destroyed $2.6 million worth of vape cartridges because they weren’t fresh enough. (They had been quarantined during the VAPI lung outbreak; they were safe but simply outdated.)
Worcester local Ross Bradshaw opened New Dia in early 2021, and later that year the cannabis entrepreneur and rap artist Burner made him an offer too good to pass up: How about turning New Dia into the first Cookies store on the East Coast?
“We’ve been super excited about being here in this community and when we had the opportunity to talk to Cookies and learn about their flower, there’s just such a huge demand for their flower,” Bradshaw told the Boston Globe.
118 Conz Street, Northampton
Springfield, Holyoke, Amherst, Pittsfield: Here’s your cannabis hub.
NETA Northampton was the state’s first adult-use store to open in late 2018, attended by traffic jams and around-the-block lines. The traffic and customer demand has calmed since then—but not by much. NETA remains one of the most popular stores in the state, with a wide selection of products and a convenient location off Interstate 91.
Border towns (Vermont)
Let’s say you live in a state bordering Massachusetts. Cannabis possession is now legal in your home state, but stores haven’t opened yet.
Wait—we’re describing almost every state bordering Massachusetts in 2021. Vermont is legal, with no stores. New York is legal, with no stores. Connecticut is legal, with no stores. Rhode Island…is coming soon.
Here are some intriguing stores to visit if you’re gonna hop the line.
238 Main Street, Williamstown
Are you coming from one of those quaint towns in southwestern Vermont, or perhaps a chateau in the greater Albany region? Silver Therapeutics is your closest full-selection cannabis store, with an especially wide variety of edibles and THC beverages (try the CANN, Levia, or Hi5 brands).
They’re right on Highway 2, just down the block from the Wild Oats organic co-op grocery, so you can stock up on the latest cannabis strains, bulk quinoa, and artisanal cheese all in the same trip.
243 Main Street, Athol
Elev8 founder Seun Adedeji began his business career in elementary school in Chicago, where he’d sell candy and gum out of a duffle bag to friends after school. Today, he’s the youngest Black cannabis store owner in the United States, with Elev8 stores in both Massachusetts and Oregon.
That success was born out of extraordinary customer service, respect, and authenticity. “Come as you are,” Elev8 tells their clients. “By being real and accepting people for who they truly are, we connect with our customers at a human level.
Adedeji said, “We curate only the very best products from the very best people in the business, so that everyone can medicate, recreate, and elevate the way they want.”
How Seun Adedeji turned $50,000 into a multimillion-dollar dispensary empire
Border towns (New York)
Adults can legally possess in New York, but stores aren’t expected to open until at least later 2022. (We’re not suggesting you cross a state border with cannabis, because that would not be legal.)
220 Housatonic Street, Lee
If you’re driving over on Interstate 90 (the Mass Turnpike) and want to see what a legal store looks like, Canna Provisions in the town of Lee will be your first opportunity.
Take Exit 2 and pop into the store, where their slogan is, “We’re here to better your journey.” Canna Provisions founder Meg Sanders is a bit of a legend in the industry, having run a medical dispensary in Colorado before heading east to pioneer the market in Massachusetts.
Canna Provisions knows and honors the latest flower strains and growers—check out the deep backstory on Stardawg, for instance. Keep an eye out for special local grower pop-up days, where you can meet the farmer and get the latest cuts straight from the soil.
783 South Main Street, Great Barrington
This hip and happening store in Great Barrington offers great cannabis while prioritizing social, racial, and environmental justice in its business practices.
From day one this woman and minority-led company has taken a leading role in developing progressive programs. Rebelle recruits its workforce from communities impacted by the War on Drugs, partners with the nonprofit organization Roca, and dedicates 3% of the store’s net profits to expunging cannabis convictions in Massachusetts. They walk their talk.
Border towns (Connecticut & Rhode Island)
Okay, weed is legal for adults in Connecticut but not yet in Rhode Island, so let’s be careful and stay legal out there. (Rhode Island is included here for geographic locational purposes only.)
70 Worcester Road, Webster
Greetings, neighbors! The Vault is located right off I-395 in Webster; take Exit 2. Yes, it is literally two minutes from the Connecticut border.
Inside you’ll find hundreds of products and some of the best prices in the state—The Vault prides itself on matching and beating competitors around Massachusetts.
Cape Cod Cannabis
1446 State Highway Route 6, Wellfleet
Cape Cod Cannabis, the first weed store to open in Wellfleet, has a signage challenge. The town zoning board decreed that the words “cannabis” or “marijuana” could not appear in public, for fear of…well, we’re not sure what the problem was, exactly.
So the store, which is located in a building that previously housed the South Wellfleet General Store, says “Cape Cod Wellfleet” in its front windows. (See photo above.)
“People usually think it’s a whale watching store,” manager Allan Kronfeld told the Provincetown Independent.
It’s not, but it would be an excellent store to hit prior to a whale watching excursion. Be sure to pick up one of their awesome hats or t-shirts while you’re there.
Leafly’s 100 best cannabis strains of all time
Finally finally finally, the Vineyard has legal weed! The island’s first two licensed shops opened in Aug. 2021, just in time to catch the tail end of the summer season.
15 Mechanics Street, Vineyard Haven
Thank goodness for Geoff Rose, owner of Island Time and “godfather of the Island’s marijuana business,” as the MV Times recently crowned him. Rose’s store and grow operation supply both Island Time and its cross-island friendly rival, Fine Fettle. Without him, the Vineyard might still be a cannabis desert.
The selection might not be what you’ll find on the mainland, primarily because the federal waters between the Vineyard and Falmouth are a no-go zone for any and all cannabis products, so everything’s got to be produced on the island.
Still, the Island Time growers keep expanding their volume and selection with every harvest, and the summer of 2022 should be a booming season for the shop.
The latest in Strains & products