WINCHENDON — The road for Bud Barn to become the town’s very first recreational marijuana shop was a lengthy one.
Bud Barn, which opened its doors on Jan. 28, boasts a wide array of products and accessories at its 682 Spring St. location, including indicas, sativas, joints and edibles.
Its journey started in the fall of 2019 when two different groups were considering opening a cannabis shop. After several years of applications and permitting processes, the partnership between the two parties turned into a friendship, resulting in the first store.
Leading the business is Marla LaGrassa, investor and co-owner as well as the director and treasurer of the board. Though uncommon, being a female-owned business has its perks in the world of cannabis. The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has a different track for woman-owned ventures, resulting in a faster application process. Currently, less than 10% of marijuana businesses in the state are owned by women.
Sitting on three acres, Bud Barn features a rustic exterior with a newly paved driveway and ample parking. After signing in at the front desk, customers will find a blend of eclectic decors. From wood beams gracing the high ceilings to a fireplace, the shop is an attractive place to do business.
According to Anthony Parrinello, an industry veteran of 10 years as well as a minority owner of Bud Barn, the core of the company revolves around excellent customer service, competitive prices and well-educated “budtenders” staff.
With prices starting at $30 for an eighth-gram and $10 for one gram of pre-rolled joints, Bud Barn seeks a balance of lower prices and quality products.
“What’s happening is that the prices are starting to fall in the marketplace from the wholesale suppliers, and what we’re doing is that rather than putting that money in our pocket, we’re passing it on to the customer,” said Parrinello. “We think that it’s really important, especially in a community like this area where there’s underserved folks. We want to be able to offer products to everybody, and with that wide range of pricing, there’s something for everybody here.”
Working with more than 20 vendors from all around the country, Bud Barn carries around 35 strains of marijuana with products including flower, pre-rolls, vaporizers, edibles, concentrates and topicals.
Asked about staff, store general manager Steven Bombard said that everyone working at Bud Barn has some type of cannabis background.
“Whether it was working for another dispensary in another state, working in a growth facility or a production facility, (our staff) has a wide variety of cannabis background, which brings a lot to the table for us; it’s definitely a plus,” said Bombard, who also played an important role during the early stages of Bud Barn.
Recreational use of marijuana became legal in Massachusetts in 2016, but remains a sensitive topic for some. While Bud Barn officials say the majority of the community has been supportive, some people were opposed to the store’s opening, fearing it could result in problems.
“There’s always a little pushback (in any type of business). It doesn’t mean you disregard the folks who are not supportive. All you need to do is operate your business in a respectful and compliant manner, and everyone can coexist,” Parrinello said.
The shop is planning a grand-opening event on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m.