Article by By Melissa Hanson, courtesy of Mass Live

On the shelves at Bud’s Goods and Provisions in Worcester, customers can find expected cannabis products like pre-rolls, a selection of flower and edibles. But one product is unique: Lil’ Bud’s.

Alex Mazin in opening Bud’s wanted to make sure that quality cannabis is affordable for daily consumers. The idea led to the creation of the Lil’ Bud’s product, an eighth of cannabis for $30, a bargain compared to other dispensaries in the state.

“I wanted to make legal cannabis affordable for anyone over the age of 21 and not just one time, but someone who is a consistent user and really, in many ways, it’s part of their lifestyle on a daily basis,” Mazin said. “I wanted to make that customer feel like they could participate and purchase legally for the rest of their consumer behavioral timeline.”

Lil’ Bud’s is an exclusive partnership between Bud’s Goods and Revolutionary Clinics. Bud’s Goods is a retail shop that sells products made by partners. Revolutionary Clinics has medical dispensaries in Somerville and Cambridge and a cultivation facility in Fitchburg.

Smaller buds of cannabis are often used to make pre-rolls. Usually, consumers who purchase an eighth want to see larger buds in their package explained Tom Schneider, the head of marketing at Revolutionary Clinics. So now, those little buds get packaged and head to Worcester. Making pre-rolls is a lot of work, Schneider said, so packing the small buds as an eighth saves on labor.

Mazin said he approached the Lil’ Bud’s idea thinking as a consumer rather than as a business owner.

“It was like, ‘what would I want to see in a dispensary whether it’s mine or not.’ And I would like to see a really good quality flower at a really affordable price that I could consume on a regular basis without feeling like I am spending my entire paycheck,” Mazin said.

An eighth, which is 3.5 grams of cannabis, usually cost $50 or $55 in Massachusetts. Some shops are starting to introduce prices at $45. A 1 gram pre-roll usually costs $15.

“At the end of the day, we’re striving to make a legal market by diminishing the need and the dependence on an illicit market. And by doing that, the key driver there is price,” Mazin said. “Even if you live in a legal state, if you buy illegally you’re breaking the law. And so, I felt like there was almost a social inequality there in many ways that needed to be addressed. It really comes down to making legal cannabis affordable for all over the age of 21.”

Bud’s has been open in Worcester for almost a month and the Lil’ Bud’s product has been available for a few weeks. Customers have started coming in asking about the offer. Mazin said he’s already seeing what he would call the “Lil’ Bud’s customer,” someone who comes in a few times a month to purchase the discounted eighth. Mazin said it’s too soon to see if the low price makes an impact on his bottom line, but that he hopes people will give the product a try.

Mazin and Schneider say that Lil’ Bud’s, despite the smaller size, has the same potency.

“We’re not just selling them the bottom of the barrel type of thing. We’re selling them high quality, good quality flower,” Mazin said. “For $30, it’s like why wouldn’t you give it a go.”

Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, consumers need a break, Schneider said.

“In this time of COVID and people out of work or getting reduced hours, everybody needs a break today and we’re doing our best to try and do that for our customers because we see it,” Schneider said.

Mazin said he’d be happy to see other Massachusetts dispensaries try their own version of Lil’ Bud’s.

“At the end of the day,” Mazin said, “I believe that the more people who have access to affordable good quality cannabis, the better the world.”

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