“You can buy different amounts, and it allows the consumer to have more choice and to try different strains.”
The team at High Profile x Budega likes to boast about the 1,000-plus letters of support they inspired during their dispensaries’ application process, and at the opening of their Dorchester store last week, it seemed like half of those supporters were on hand. From lifelong neighbors of Budega CEO Brian Chavez to City Councilor Julia Mejia and Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion Segun Idowu, their ribbon-cutting was a lively community affair to follow years of careful planning.
While new adult-use pot shops open regularly in Mass, Boston still has less than 10, and hardly one in every neighborhood. High Profile x Budega isn’t the first Dot dispensary—that distinction belongs to Pure Oasis, the Hub’s first rec store anywhere—but the company, a partnership with the Michigan-based C3 Industries, does stand out from other stores around the region on several fronts.
First, the parking at their Dorchester dispensary. There’s a shitload of it, and with spectacular I-93 access.
Then there’s Chavez, whose family’s business background is in owning bodegas in Boston, two of which have been converted into the next dispensaries they’re opening—one on Dudley Street in Roxbury, the other on Washington Street in Roslindale. Brian is the only social equity applicant to secure three locations in Boston, and with his brother Jaison have accomplished quite a feat in pulling them across the finish line. With Dot now fully operational, the Rox and Rozzie openings are imminent.
As for the High Profile side of the name, that comes from their C3 partners, who enter the mix and Mass market with their Cloud Cover vapes, flower, and concentrates from their cultivation and processing plant in Franklin.
“Flower is still an evolving market in Massachusetts, and soon we’ll be bringing Cloud Cover into other [non-C3 stores] as well,” said Samip Shah, the COO of C3 Industries working on everything from construction to production.
Shah says they are “excited to change the way cannabis retail is done in this city,” and point to their having large jugs of nugs for customers to sniff and purchase from. A special seal allows the budtender to offer whiffs without directly exposing the buds, making for a clean approach that lets you actually see and smell what you are purchasing.
“People want good product, and we’re a little different in that we have deli flower, while most stores in the state … have it prepackaged. You can buy different amounts, and it allows the consumer to have more choice and to try different strains. We’ve seen that it’s a model that works in Michigan and Missouri and we think it will work here as well. Our retail experience is to have a lot of variety.”
“We’re hearing that the product in a lot of stores isn’t matching up to what people can find in the legacy market,” Brian Chavez said. “We want people to be able to find what they’re looking for.”
“This is like a marathon. This is not a sprint,” the CEO said at the Dorchester opening. “Patience and persistence. The key is not giving up [and having a] distinguishing factor.”
“You’re going to need to be able to turn some heads.”
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.