‘We don’t want to be the big guys’: Boston Bud Factory opens in Holyoke 

  • Frank Dailey, co-owner of Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke, helps customer Tamika Williams of Springfield with her order at the cannabis dispensary on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frank Dailey, co-owner of Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke, helps customer Tamika Williams of Springfield with her order at the cannabis dispensary on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Informational cards in Spanish and English at Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke list the types of strains and methods of consumption of cannabis. Photographed on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, with dispensary co-owner Frank Dailey. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frank Dailey, co-owner of Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke, talks on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, about the two-year process leading up to the marijuana dispensary's opening last Friday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Cannabis products available at Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frank Dailey, co-owner of Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke, talks on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, about the two-year process leading up to the marijuana dispensary's opening last Friday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frank Dailey, co-owner of Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke, talks about the CO2 extraction equipment not yet in use in the production room of the marijuana dispensary on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Informational cards in Spanish and English at Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke list the types of strains and methods of consumption of cannabis. Photographed on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frank Dailey, co-owner of Boston Bud Factory in Holyoke, talks on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, about the two-year process leading up to the marijuana dispensary's opening last Friday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Boston Bud Factory, a recreational marijuana dispensary, opened in Holyoke on Friday, July 17, 2020. Photographed on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 7/23/2020 10:09:07 PM

HOLYOKE — Compared to some of the big businesses currently dominating Massachusetts’ recreational marijuana industry, Frank Dailey said he knows the new cannabis dispensary he opened last week, Boston Bud Factory, is “the little guy.”

But Dailey said such a distinction is what helps make the city’s second adult-use marijuana store, at 73 Sargeant St., unique. It gives him an opportunity to provide customers with quality marijuana products and cannabis education in a more relaxed, individually-focused environment.

“We don’t want to be the big guys,” Dailey said. “We want to be the little neighborhood store.”

A Springfield native, Dailey attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He soon became a process engineer until he moved into working in operations management. He co-owns Boston Bud Factory with Carlo Sarno, a Longmeadow businessman who Dailey described as a “background manager … he’s support and I’m the day-to-day.”

The recreational marijuana dispensary first inked a host community agreement with the city of Holyoke in May 2018 and was given its provisional license by the state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) about a year later. The store was granted its final retail license in April, but did not get the green light to open until just recently. 

Dailey said he was an economic empowerment applicant with the CCC, a program implemented to give priority review and licensure to businesses looking to open in areas that are disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Dailey plans on holding job fairs at nearby Nueva Esperanza when it’s safe to do so, as he wants the store to hire employees who live in the neighborhood.

The selection of products on Boston Bud Factory’s 800-square-foot retail floor at the moment include vaporizers, joints, flower, edibles, tinctures and other items from suppliers within the state, including Green Thumb Industries, which manufactures marijuana products at 28 Appleton St. in Holyoke. Dailey said he wants to add smaller suppliers to his roster so customers can get different tastes of cannabis from around Massachusetts. 

“We want a selection from all across the state,” Dailey said. “The little guys that are battling the same battles we have and are looking for opportunities into the market.”

He plans on starting a “deli-style” flower selection process, where cashiers weigh out marijuana in front of the customer instead of selling it pre-packaged. In addition, Dailey constructed a consultation area/education center in his store that is filled with cannabis literature so customers can read and learn about pot. He said being able to display to customers the product as they learn about it enhances their buying experience.

“Most of the dispensaries don’t have areas where you can just sit there and look around,” he said. “We welcome people, post-COVID and safely, to come in and spend time here and educate themselves.”

Meanwhile, Dailey is waiting for a second license from the CCC for a manufacturing operation in the far back of the store, which he hopes to receive sometime in August. He already has the machinery set up for the CO2 extraction process needed to create his own brand of vape cartridges and other products in a small production room.

“That all gets back to my chemical engineering background,” Dailey joked.

Ultimately, Dailey said he’s excited to finally open his business and hopes to open more dispensaries in the future. He said that if the CCC eventually allows social consumption of marijuana, he would be interested in setting up an area for that on the dispensary’s roof.

“Getting this store open was the first step,” he said. “Anything is possible.”

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 


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