Located at 64 W Boylston St. in Worcester, Bud’s Goods & Provisions is the city’s neighborhood dispensary providing the state’s largest cannabis selection.
“It’s something I’m very proud of,” says Alex Mazin, CEO of Bud’s Goods & Provisions.
Only having opened in the first week of November last year, Mazin says the team has been going strong and steady, despite a global pandemic. “We’ve had to be nimble, reactive and responsive, but things are growing,” he says. In fact, Mazin is already looking at additional locations!
A Worcester native, Mazin went into corporate America after college and then came back to Worcester.
“I feel like the city was on a great trajectory before COVID,” he says. “Part of the reason I came back was the growth and opportunity in the city.”
So how did the cannabis industry and Mazin cross paths? “In 2015 I was approached by a good family friend diagnosed with MS,” Mazin says. “There was interest in investment into the cannabis industry because it was helping her through. The family thought I was a good fit because I had 10 years living in NYC as a healthcare consultant for pharma companies. I had exposure to the healthcare industry, and they thought I might be able to help.”
With that, Mazin got himself into the medical marijuana industry in MA. “That was how it all started,” he says. “I started a company called Vaprcase in 2014 which sold silicone accessory products for vaporizers. It was an entrepreneurial cannabis experience, and a good fit to take the opportunity on when I was approached to get into industry.”
As his entrepreneurial juices began to flow, Mazin embarked on his journey to opening a dispensary in his beloved city.
“My team and I embarked on a mission in early 2016,” he says. “Our goal was to build a new form of cannabis retail that normalizes what cannabis is to society. We wanted hospitality branding, design and customer experience at forefront, which makes us different. We offer customers an experience unlike other retailers in the country. With early cannabis companies, the thought was ‘if I build it, they will come,’ but I never believed that. We knew it would be competitive and we’d need to prove ourselves.”
Big dreams and clear goals come with challenges to overcome. “Just because a law passes, that doesn’t mean it goes into effect the day it passes,” Mazin says. “Even though the law was passed in 2016, it took 18 months to create rules. Once rules are created at the state level, it takes time to roll out locally. It took 2 years for Worcester.”
In August 2018, Mazin received approval to open. “We started getting into the approval process, building permits, etc. and started construction in January 2020,” he says. “Things were moving along, then COVID hit. It threw our timeline off by 3-4 months.”
Now that they are officially open, Mazin is living his dream, and part of that is creating a distinct brand. “As we evolved the ‘Buds Goods’ brand, we thought, we all know the west coast, but what is a New England cannabis brand?” he says. “We thought, patriotic colors, playing off of red, white and blue. We wanted to focus on our community and hardworking individuals, because that makes up a New Englander – modern Americana. Most dispensaries are sterile, but we wanted to add an element of fun and excitement. We have a wraparound bar, wide oak hardwood floors to mimic Nantucket or Cape Cod, and really try to play off that New England theme.”
So they’ve got the brand down, but what about the products? They’ve got that down too!
“We carry 40 different varieties of flower, 30 different pre rolls, an abundance of edibles, gummies, chocolates, mints, cookies and a selection of concentrates and cartridges,” Mazin says.
Mazin also offers what he calls “Little Buds.” “It’s a partnership with a grower in MA. We sell an eighth of the flower and sell it for $30, which is really affordable. We do this because I am a believer that legal cannabis should be affordable for anyone over 21. It’s an affordable, everyday option.”
As for general pricing, an eighth varies between $40-50, pre rolls range from $7.50 – 15, and edibles run for $15. “We are trying to negotiate the right deals and provide it to the consumer,” Mazin says.
When COVID eases, Mazin and team hope to commence with their plans to connect with the community. “We want to get involved with local community colleges to help students realize career opportunities in cannabis,” Mazin says. “We want to offer speaking engagements, resume critiquing, etc. Many school staff marketing professors understand that there is opportunity in cannabis and there’s an opportunity to convey that to students.”
Mazin and team also plan on getting involved in some volunteer work to clean up the neighborhood and beyond. “We’d love to work with local farmers markets and have food trucks in our parking lot on the weekends and engage with the community, showing that we want to be active in the community and do some good,” Mazin says. “We are trying to get people to see [our industry] is good and change the mindset about cannabis, all while empowering our employees and staff and have them feel they are part of something really amazing.”
For more information on Bud’s Goods & Provisions, visit them at Budsgoods.com.