Cheech and Chong launching three local cannabis shops, will visit Whately on Saturday
|Published: 11-08-2023 4:34 PM
WHATELY — A few months after opening and with business booming, the existing Happy Feelings dispensary brand is going up in smoke on Saturday, with two familiar faces becoming the face of the company’s three stores.
Next weekend, Happy Feelings stores in Whately, Greenfield and Northampton will become Cheech & Chong’s Dispensorias. The famous comedy duo’s company has partnered with ToroVerde, the dispensaries’ operators, to launch their first three stores in the country, and they plan to visit the Whately location as part of the rebranding.
“When you think about it, there have been plenty of celebrity partnerships, but what I think has been missing are true icons,” said Jonathan Gonzalez, ToroVerde’s market manager, noting there have been high-profile cannabis partnerships in the past, such as with Snoop Dogg. “Cheech and Chong were before him and they are the true pioneers. It feels good to open something that is groundbreaking.”
As part of the rebranding, the Whately location, at 424 State Road, will host the brand’s grand opening celebration on Saturday, from 2 to 6 p.m., with both Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong making appearances.
During that time, the store will be open for regular business, but several third-party vendors will be around to distribute “free swag,” a food truck will be on site and a band will be playing music on the porch. The legendary duo will hold a meet-and-greet from 3 to 5 p.m. No social consumption of cannabis is allowed on the property.
General Manager Jessica Bundy said the operation of the three dispensaries will see few changes beyond some new decorations inside, and items with Cheech & Chong branding, including flower, pre-rolls and concentrates.
Instead, Gonzalez said their biggest focus is “creating a next-level environment” and offering competitive pricing.
“Having the variety and the pricing, so anyone can come in and get something, that’s what we’re looking to do,” he said.
Business, Bundy added, has been great since the Whately store opened as Happy Feelings in August.
“Every week, we’re doing a little bit better,” she said. “Fridays and Saturdays are pretty steady for us.”
While Whately served as the company’s first store to open, two others opened on Sept. 20 in Greenfield and Northampton.
The Northampton store is located at 26-28 North King St., while the Greenfield store is at 51 Davis St.
Gonzalez said all three stores are mostly similar, although there are some slight product differences.
With the imminent rebranding and three stores now open, Gonzalez said the main focus will be on ensuring the success of the business, including filling out the staff at every store. The dispensaries are still hiring.
“Everything has happened so quickly, after this is done, we’ll continue to chip away at everything,” he said. “We’ll focus on building the foundation and continue to give the community premium cannabis.”
For more information about the three dispensaries and Cheech & Chong’s Dispensorias, visit their website at bit.ly/40skRjl.Chris Larabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-930-4081.