Photo Credit: The Pass
Retail cannabis has become a booming industry in Massachusetts, drawing in a large consumer base eager to get a taste of legal recreational cannabis.
Since November 2018, the state has been home to retail cannabis dispensaries after voters legalized recreational or adult use cannabis in 2016. The state has 165 recreational cannabis retailers and three delivery businesses currently in operation. These retailers generated over $844 million in sales in the last year alone, according to Mass Live.
One of these recreational dispensaries is The Pass. The dispensary is in the small town of Sheffield located in the Berkshire Mountains. Sheffield neighbors the popular ski town, Great Barrington, which has five other dispensaries.
The company’s mission “is to support human consciousness – to inspire, connect, and calm the mind and body – through intelligent consumption of our natural flower, extractions, and infused products,” according to their website.
Staffed by Berkshire locals, The Pass aims to provide social and economic benefits to their local community. Additionally, the mountain area’s guiding principles of individual and agricultural wellness motivates the company.
As a cannabis retailer, The Pass supports social causes that advocate for cannabis justice, like the Last Prisoner Project. This non-profit organization aims to get every person out of jail for cannabis offenses through funding legal intervention and public education about cannabis.
Post from @thepass.co on Instagram.
The Pass grows and produces their own cannabis products, while featuring products from other Massachusetts cannabis retailers.
The dispensary also offers multiple shopping options to optimize the retail experience. For example, customers can either browse products in store or online, and have the option to pre-order products through the company’s website to pick up at the retail location.
The store also has fairly priced products, costing slightly less than other dispensaries I previously visited in the state. Another perk — customers are able to purchase items with cash or through a debit card when visiting the store.
Tucked in the southwest corner of Massachusetts, The Pass’s location is ideal since the store is a short drive from both the borders of Connecticut and New York. This allows the dispensary to serve additional clientele from these states that both legalized recreational adult use of cannabis last year, but do not yet have retail stores.
From the outside, the retail location looks like a rustic, modern looking barn with the backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains. A friendly staff member greets customers in the vestibule who directs them where to go based on what shopping experience they prefer.
The inside of the store is spacious and pristine. It features local art on the walls. Additionally, wooden display cases showcase the store’s various products that encapsulates the rustic theme. TV screens have menus with prices and educational materials are in plainview to help customers find the right products for them.
By the registers, customers can browse smoking accessories. This includes papers, lighters, and pipes that are featured in display cases and shelves behind them.
I found my shopping experience surprisingly easy and relaxed when I visited the location. The dispensary had a calm environment, not overwhelmed with customers. I used the website to order my products ahead of time, which were instantly ready when I arrived to pick them up at the register.
The staff were very organized, they were able to easily find and retrieve my order. They also were attentive to my needs, making sure that my order had every product I purchased and that I was satisfied.
Post from @thepass.co on Instagram.
The Website: Online Shopping Experience and Information Hub
The store’s website is very easy to navigate, allowing customers to easily shop and browse products. I was able to order my products digitally with no difficulty. I also received a text notification when my order was ready.
Every product available for purchase on the website has important information, such as THC content, type of strain, and effects of the product. Additionally, the website labels products that are “staff picks.” This information was helpful for me as a customer to determine what product was best for me.
The website also clearly displays useful information about the store such as its hours, the products they sell, and how their products are made. Further, there is a page specifically for customer FAQs so customers can better grasp what the shopping experience is like at the dispensary and regulations on recreational cannabis in Massachusetts.
Customers can also stay in the loop of what’s happening at The Pass by signing up for their mailing list.
Since The Pass is located in an area that attracts mountain tourism, the website offers the Berkshire High Guide, which gives recommendations for places to explore, stay, shop, or eat nearby.
The company provides products for every type of cannabis consumer. “We have something for everyone, from entry-level to master consumer, for a full range of experiences with a singular dedication to quality, reliability, and specialty,” their website said.
The Pass sells a wide variety of topics including indoor and greenhouse flower, vape carts, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, and topicals. All of their products contain THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes the “high effect” experienced by users.
According to the company, they convert raw plant material to make their non-flower products. They do this by applying temperature, pressure, and speed in their engineer-led processing lab. Indoor and greenhouse flowers are cultivated with Berkshire water, climate control, and irrigation technology.
In order to give back to customers, the store also offers The Pass Loyalty Program. The program allows customers to accumulate loyalty points to redeem on glass, devices, smoking accessories, cannabis products, and much more. Customers can stack points, which do not expire.
Recently, the store announced a giveaway for a winter weekend getaway in the Berkshires – another way that the store gives back to its customers.
Post from @thepass.co on Instagram.
I purchased their Hint of Mint and Lemon Hybrid Tincture and an eighth of Berkshire Buds Alpine Strawberry Sativa Flower. The tincture was not high in potency, containing only 2.466 mgs of THC per serving. Additionally, the tincture had a light herbal taste, which allowed me to not be overwhelmed by the flavor. The flower had an earthy, but not highly skunky smell and was easy to grind and smoke.
I found my experience using these products to be consistent with their effects advertised on the website. Further, purchasing these products did not drain my bank account, since the company priced the products fairly and within reason.
Overall I found my experience as a customer at The Pass very satisfactory. As a result, I plan on returning to their retail store. Their products and service exceeded my expectations, leaving me with a good initial impression of the Massachusetts retail cannabis market.
The Pass wonderfully gives customers an efficient shopping experience and a taste of quality Berkshire-made products.