Potency owners Owen Martinetti, left, Tim Mack, and Chris Abbenda
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local cannabis enthusiasts lined the door of the new dispensary, Potency, located at 1450 East St. to celebrate its opening on Monday afternoon.
"I think what sets Potency apart is our focus on quality and our store aesthetic. We put a lot into in the interior and exterior of the space. Also having a local partner [Mack] Mass Yield Cultivation to provide high quality flower that a lot of other retailers around here don't have," Chris Abbenda said.
For the last few years, Berkshire County businessman Tim Mack and New York entrepreneurs Abbenda and Owen Martinetti, known for the CBD sleep gummy Snoozy, have been collaborating to open the dispensary.
Mack is known to the community for his gardening supply store Berkshire Hydroponics and 5,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation center Mass Yield Cultivation.
When Mack opened Berkshire Hydroponics about nine years ago, he did not know how much it would grow. He's has networked with people who helped him grow through the cannabis industry, from supplies to cultivation and, now, with the opening of Potency, retail.
The store's team has carefully reviewed the products that they sell to find quality products that they would feel comfortable giving to their friends, family, and community.
"We were very specific so we don't have 400 products here. We have less than 100 and we're always going to keep it that way and making sure that the products that we carry are kind of like the best in each category," Martinetti said.
"That doesn't mean we are discriminative of price point. Like we have price points everywhere from the lowest possible all the way up to your premium, but we just want to make sure that even if you're in that low-price tier for a product, that it's a quality product."
The retailer has a wide range of cannabis products, including flower, edibles, concentrates and vapes. They also sell exclusive Potency brand products.
Sometimes walking into chain cannabis retailers can be daunting, especially to novice customers, due to its extensive collection of goods.
The store's design, from the living plant wall and product displays, combined with customer service attempts to create a welcoming atmosphere where novice and informed individuals can learn about what they are purchasing.
"Our goal for this store was to be able to have customers who were coming in who maybe don't have experience with cannabis and have them be able to understand what they're what they're buying," Abbenda said.
Their selections for the in-house brand is easy to understand because it is mood or feeling based, like relaxed vibe, relief, or energy, he said.
Rather than focusing on the strain name, which for most people who aren't cannabis consumers would have a hard time understanding, they focus on how the product might affect the consumer's feeling or emotion.
"So, we wanted to make the customer experience here as easy as possible for experienced cannabis consumers and also people that are just trying cannabis for the first time," he said.
Unlike other cannabis retailers in the area, Abbenda said, Potency is working with local cultivation centers. Similar to how Berkshire Roots has its own cultivation, Potency creates products with Mass Yield and works with other cultivation partners, including Nova Farms in Sheffield, and two more outside the county.
Being involved in every component of the industry allows them to streamline quality goods, Mack said, and in the case changes need to be made for the product, they are able to do so in real time.
The dispensary is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out Potency here.
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Election Checkup: Pittsfield Sees Increased Interest in School Committee
By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More candidates have had their signatures certified and there is now a full slate of interest in the School Committee.
Not long after the City Council averted a petition from Ward 2 Councilor Charles Kronick that imposed a 30-year age requirement to represent Pittsfield schools, two more people have taken out papers for the six-seat board: Stephanie Sabin and Dominick Carmen Sacco.
According to her social media, Sabin works as a patient advocate for bariatric surgery at Berkshire Medical Center.
Kronick had proposed charter modifications that include a minimum 30-year age requirement on School Committee candidates and a one-year "cooling off" period for elected officials and it did not fare well.
A majority of the councilors and some community members spoke against the proposal before Ward 1 Councilor Kenneth Warren called a charter objection.
Both students will speak at graduation ceremonies on Sunday, June 4, at 1 p.m. in the school gymnasium. The valedictory speech will be titled, "Facing the Road Ahead" and the salutatory address will be titled, "Life is a Highway."
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