Cape Cod’s largest adult-use dispensary now offering industry tours
The reigning Weedmaps regional champion for Best Menu of the Year 2021, Cape Cod Cannabis is now in the transportation business as well.
Green transportation, that is.
It’s long been possible to hop in a professionally-operated vehicle for a guided tour of a brewery as offered by operations such as Cape Cod Brew Bus.
Now, the limo company owned and operated by Cape Cod Cannabis General Manager Derek D’Ambrosio is providing comparable customizable tours for his shop in Wellfleet, and for various retailers in Wareham and Kingston as well.
Derek’s Elite Limo, powered by Blue Nile Livery, is now open for anyone who wants a Willy Wonka-like tour of 100% organic distributor Coast Cannabis’ edible factory in Wareham, for instance, or a grow tour at Trade Roots before crossing the bridge to collect a CCC swag bag filled with merch.
From there, they can purchase whatever in-house products they want before heading to their next local destination.
“You can tour a winery, you can tour a brewery, why not tour a dispensary and get to see a chocolate factory?” as Derek puts it.
Beyond just fun, there’s a community aspect to the tours as well that gives back to those harmed by the drug’s Schedule I status. Five-percent of what you spend on the tour goes to the nonprofit Freedom Grow Forever, which helps nonviolent cannabis prisoners get holiday gifts for their children.
The willingness to donate money to a good cause is reflective of D’Ambrosio’s overall holistic approach to the cannabis industry, which he says he’s been involved in as a dealer since he was 15.
As further evidence of this ethical stance, Derek says CCC gives priority shelf-space to women, veterans, and anyone who has been impacted by the War on Drugs.
Even though recreational weed is undoubtedly big business just a few years into its existence, the CCC GM maintains that it’s his passion for the product more than anything that gets him up in the morning.
As for their location and surroundings, D’Ambrosio views the recent opening of seven adult-use cannabis shops on the Outer Cape as a sign not of insurmountable competition, but rather a renaissance moment for weed of which he’s thrilled to be a part.
On the business side of things, D’Ambrosio says one of his greatest strengths as a manager is not only rigorous quality control, but also keeping his finger on the pulse of what shoppers are actually looking for.
“Over 70% of the people who walk into my store are not people who are looking to get high,” D’Ambrosio says. “They’re looking for help with pain, or sleep, or socialization, anti-anxiety, stress-relief.”
Beyond anticipating the customer’s needs, Derek broke down the three-step evaluation process he puts every product sold in his store through before offering it to the masses..
“Before I bring any product into my store, first I do my research on it and see if it’s any good. I look at [BostonTrees on Reddit] to hear what other people are talking about. I read everything I can.”
“Then I go tour the facility, meet the owners, and look at their standard operating procedures. If they just let me go willy-nilly through their facility, I’m probably not gonna buy from them.”
“Then I’ll go hunt their product down and find it in the wild. What’s actually on the street can be very different from the vendor sample. You can’t just trust whatever they send you.”
It’s been a hard-fought path to cultural acceptance, with many detractors including the federal government along the way, but D’Ambrosio says we’ve undergone a cultural shift in which people are by and large no longer afraid of cannabis. D’Ambrosio says the industry will continue to improve as more people begin to jump aboard for the right reasons beyond sheer greed.
“When it first opened, the people who got into this business were just about the money,” he says. “They didn’t care about their product—they looked at it like it’s like a cucumber, like you’re just selling whatever.”
In contrast to such marijuana mercenaries, Derek says he’s proud to be part of this cultural shift not only as a working professional, but also as somebody who’s witnessed the profoundly positive impact cannabis can have on one’s health by treating the medical ailments of those closest to him.
Growing up, he witnessed his mother use weed to help her eat and sleep while fighting cancer; as an adult, Derek’s wife prefers cannabis’ naturally occurring compounds to normally prescribed painkillers to treat her Lupus.
“I love the culture,” he says. “I care about the product. You know that feeling when you were a little kid when you went to the toy store and you got so excited for your parents to buy you a toy? I feel like that every time I walk into a dispensary.”