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LYNN — Residents who make a purchase at the city’s newest recreational marijuana shop on Oxford Street will be treated to a unique transaction experience.
While certain cannabis products are displayed in glass cases on the sales floor, the actual items customers will be purchasing are housed out of sight on the second floor of the adult-use shop, Ethos Cannabis, which opened last Monday.
Once customers select their desired product from the store’s menu, which includes multiple strains of cannabis items ranging from $10 to $65, their purchase will be delivered in a non-traditional way, according to Alex Hardy, Ethos’ president of Massachusetts.
“When someone places an order, it comes shooting down the chute,” said Hardy, referring to the plastic chute that extends from the second-floor storage room to the sales register.
Ethos Cannabis, which restricts sales to people 21 and older, is the second recreational marijuana store to open in Lynn. Apothca, located on the Lynnway, was the city’s first medical and recreational store — the two components of which opened a year apart in the fall of 2018 and 2019 respectively.
“It’s the second store that’s opened,” said James Cowdell, EDIC/Lynn executive director. “It’s much-needed revenue for the city and there are several more stores in the pipeline. Everything that we’ve seen shows that there’s a strong demand so that trend will continue.”
Eight businesses have been granted permission from the Lynn City Council to open recreational marijuana stores, but as of this week, only two are currently operating. Each approved cannabis business is required to enter into a host agreement with the city, which requires them to provide the city with six percent of their annual gross revenues.
Following city approval for Ethos’ new store last January, the company embarked on a two-year process that included extensive construction and a lengthy state approval period through the Cannabis Control Commission.
Ultimately, Hardy said Ethos needed to invest more than $1 million into the 193 Oxford St. property, which had been vacant for more than a decade and had fallen into a state of disrepair.
“The building had been abandoned,” said Hardy. “It was a complete disaster. We gutted it all the way back to the brick and started over.”
The downtown Lynn store is the third dispensary Ethos Cannabis has opened in Massachusetts. The company opened a medical and adult-use dispensary in Watertown last July and a cultivation center and adult-use store in Fitchburg this past October, Hardy said.
Ethos, a multi-state company with operations and investment interests in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, and Arizona, is targeting a January or early February opening for a medical marijuana dispensary in Dorchester, Hardy said.
“The Lynn location complements our other geographic locations by extending our reach to customers north of Boston,” said Hardy. “We put a significant amount of time and effort to restore an old building that had fallen into disrepair.
“Our dispensary features some of the original charm of the exposed brick and tile entryway and combines it with more modern features including a lofted ceiling and natural light shining through our south-facing windows.”
Ethos’ Massachusetts dispensaries, including Lynn, feature products sourced from a wide assortment of “high-quality cannabis flowers” grown in the company’s cultivation center in Fitchburg, according to a company press release.
The stores also carry products from well-known brands like Happy Valley, Incredibles and ACS. The current menu showcases multiple strains of flower that cover a wide range of profiles, the company said.
While its prices may be in line with other local marijuana stores, what sets Ethos apart, from a product standpoint, is how the company has curated its menu, Hardy said.
“We don’t take a lot of products just to have a lot of products on the menu,” said Hardy. “We specifically work with third-party vendors who are comparable to our product standards. We take a lot of pride in our product.”
Hardy also touted the knowledge base of the Lynn location’s staff, many of whom are from the city and have prior experience in the cannabis business.
While he acknowledges the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to businesses, Hardy expects that once people get to know their product, Ethos will be successful in Lynn.
As someone who aspired to work in the cannabis business long before the drug was legalized, Hardy is a big believer in the company’s mission, which is to help individuals feel and live better through their experiences with cannabis.
“It’s a product that’s fun, but it’s also a product that can help people,” said Hardy.
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Alex Hardy, president of Massachusetts for Ethos Cannabis, stands in the company’s new shop on Oxford Street in Lynn. The shop opened on Monday, making it Lynn’s second recreational marijuana business. (Spenser Hasak)
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