Pot shops open this week in Southampton, Northampton

  • Cannabis products sold at Dreamer Cannabis, a new business in Southampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Volkan Polatol and Kevin Perrier, co-owners of Dreamer Cannabis, are shown in the newly opened store in Southampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Kevin Perrier and Volkan Polatol, co-owners of Dreamer in the newly opened store in Southampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Dreamer Cannabis is a new cannabis dispensary in Southampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2021 9:32:25 PM

SOUTHAMPTON — Joining neighboring communities, Southampton opened its first recreational cannabis dispensary this week.

Additionally, the fifth dispensary in Northampton opened Thursday, and Easthampton is set to see a fourth dispensary in the near future.

Dreamer Cannabis, at 15 College Highway in Southampton, had its soft opening on Wednesday, and will celebrate its grand opening later this month.

Owner and Southampton resident Volkan Polatol said that once the town approved pot dispensaries, the opportunity felt like a “natural attraction.”

Town Meeting voters approved the sale of recreational and medicinal cannabis in Southampton in early 2019. Polatol applied for a license soon afterward and went through the state’s approval process for the next two years.

“The process is kind of on the slow side,” Polatol said. “There are a lot of checks and balances. If you can make it, it seems like a pretty decent industry to get into. It’s exciting.”

Polatol, who also owns Mulino’s Italian Restaurant and Bishop’s Lounge in Northampton, said that jumping from the restaurant and entertainment industry to cannabis sales felt like an easy transition. As more pot dispensaries pop up locally and around the state, Polatol said that, like restaurants, a focus on ambiance, setting and overall experience feels like “the next phase of dispensaries.”

The first day in business was “pretty mellow,” according to Polatol, who said that the business did not heavily advertise its opening. But for the grand opening on June 19, Polatol is planning for a much larger affair, with live music, food and beer trucks, and hot air balloon rides if weather allows.

“Things are getting better, and we feel it’s time to celebrate that,” he said.

Around 10 people are currently employed with the dispensary, though Polatol plans to add more staffing in the future. Dreamer Cannabis will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In Northampton, Trulieve Cannabis opened its doors to the public on Thursday afternoon at 216 North King St. Shortly after the opening, a small line had formed outside of the city’s newest recreational and medical marijuana dispensary.

While well-established in Florida, where it has 82 locations, Trulieve is new to Massachusetts. The Northampton dispensary is its first in the state, though Trulieve plans to establish two other locations in Massachusetts within the year. The company also has five other locations across California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Unlike Florida, where only medical marijuana is legalized, Massachusetts stood out for its acceptance of recreational cannabis use, said Lynn Ricci, director of investor relations for Trulieve.

“We really think that’s the future of cannabis,” Ricci said, adding that Northampton in particular has been “very welcoming with dispensaries.”

In addition to the Northampton dispensary, Trulieve previously set up a cultivation and production facility at 56 Canal St. in Holyoke in a former mill building.

“We want to give back to the community and provide jobs,” Ricci said.

With numerous dispensaries popping up in the area, Ricci said that Trulieve hopes to stand out with its high customer loyalty rates and flexible return policies.

The Northampton location will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. through 8 p.m. on Sunday.

In Easthampton, Michigan-based Pleasantrees has also announced that it will open a dispensary at 195 Northampton St. this summer. The Easthampton business, which does not have a set opening date yet, will be the company’s third dispensary in the country, and the fourth dispensary to open in the city.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.


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