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After 24 years growing up in Massachusetts, and then another 16 years of frequent visits to Mass from my home in Florida, my recent trip to the Temescal Wellness cannabis dispensary in Hudson, Massachusetts felt more satisfying than I can put into words. Although I have not been a Massachusetts resident for a long time, I have always associated myself with the Boston area. I love all of the professional sports teams and take pride in my upbringing. It’s a little crazy to me that Massachusetts is the first state on the east coast to start selling cannabis legally. My buddy even showed me a few of his plants that he is legally growing at home, and he doesn’t even need a medical marijuana card!
Ever since I was a teenager I have felt like the prohibition on cannabis made little sense. Massachusetts police could be very harsh if they caught you with just a dime bag or a joint. So much as a possession conviction immediately limited a young adult’s choices in life and could send them down a dark path. Walking into a legal adult-use marijuana dispensary like Temescal Wellness after all of these years, felt liberating. I can only describe legally purchasing super high quality weed from a store not all that far from where I grew up, as unreal. It felt especially nice when I was invited back for a bit of a behind-the-scenes tour and a one-on-one interview with Linda Katz, the Temescal Wellness VP of sales and marketing.
Like most cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts, Temescal Wellness started exclusively as a medical marijuana dispensary, but then became the first company to open multiple adult-use locations in Mass. There is one in Hudson, which is the one I visited, and the other is located all the way on the western border near New York State, in the town of Pittsfield. The state requires that all dispensaries ensure there is plenty of supply and accessibility for the medical patients. So, just like most of the dispensaries I have been to in Mass., recreational customers visiting the Hudson location, park at an offsite lot and are shuttled to the dispensary. The remote parking lot is located at 26 Houghton Ct in downtown Hudson, and the shuttle ride is just a short 5 minutes.
The trip is quick and the shuttles are always full of great conversation about everyone’s experiences with cannabis throughout the years and their thoughts on legal weed. Our driver, Jacob, handed us all tickets that we had to present at the registration window once we arrived at the store. He was very nice and passed out menus for us to look at before arriving. The Temescal Wellness remote parking lot for adult-use customers is in the heart of downtown Hudson, which simply cannot be accidental. The same night of the interview I brought my entire family back to Hudson so that I could get a full picture of the user experience for Temescal Wellness customers. I will come back to that shortly, but suffice it to say, downtown Hudson is charming.
Temescal Wellness Budtenders
The Temescal Wellness dispensary sort of looks like a classic New England house set up on a steep hill. Inside, vaulted ceilings make the dispensary feel very spacious. There are easily accessible restrooms and a sitting area. I was there at around 2 pm on a Monday and there was a budtender stationed at nearly every register ready to take orders, so the line moved fast. When it was my turn, I asked my budtender, Charlie, if she had any recommendations. She started by asking me what I wanted to get out of my experience with cannabis. Great question! Most customers are looking for a specific feeling from their cannabis and guiding them to the exact right product can get challenging. It also told me that she was not interested in getting me out the door as fast as she could to get to the next customer, something I have experienced a lot of.
I have visited legal cannabis dispensaries up and down the West Coast all the way up to Vancouver. I’ve been testing budtenders for the last three years in Colorado, Florida, Washington D.C. and Jamaica. I’ve been to more dispensaries in Vegas than I can count. Most budtenders I have spoken to don’t know a whole lot about the product they are selling. It was a daring question for Charlie to ask. She showed me the menu, which looked like a nice leather bound menu I might find in a fine dining restaurant, and talked about being an artist and how certain strains, which she pointed out on the menu, helped her find inspiration. She also talked about the strains that provide more of a body high. There are well over 20 different cannabis varieties at Temescal Wellness. They sell full gram and half gram prerolls, flower by the eighths, vapes, concentrates, edibles and topicals. Prices are a little higher than you find in West Coast states like Washington, but that is to be expected considering the MA market is still new.
I probably had more questions for her than the average customers visiting Temescal Wellness, but I had an agenda. She did a great job and if my experience is at all indicative of the typical customer experience, then everyone should feel very comfortable visiting Temescal Wellness. Then I hopped back into the shuttle and took the quick ride back to my car. I decided to go and take a look around downtown Hudson to see if there was anything to do after buying some legal weed. I found great shopping, restaurants, public parks and breweries. Anyone traveling to Hudson has every reason to stay and relax for a while.
Town of Hudson, Massachusetts
I brought my family back that night and we ate at the Rail Trail Flatbread Company that had a unique and delicious rye bread appetizer smothered in your choice of three different spreads. I highly recommend the heirloom tomato spread, especially if you like a little spice. Hudson has an outdoor beer garden during certain nights of the week, or just stop by the Medusa Brewing Company to get a delicious craft beer. I tried the ice cream at the New City Microcreamery, which may have been the best ice cream I have ever had, and found a secret speakeasy bar in the back that looked like I had been taken back to the 1920’s. We played a colorful piano outside and met a man walking around with his cockatoo.
I want to thank Temescal Wellness for allowing me to come back for an interview. I think they have a great establishment and I look forward to going back next time I am up in Massachusetts. That will likely be during the Holidays, as all of my family still resides in New England. I bet Hudson will be decked out in Christmas lights and look like a winter wonderland by then, we will see. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out Temescal Wellness and the town of Hudson if you get a chance. Remember that next April the entire month will be 4/20. It will be the biggest 420 celebration of all time. If you are an enthusiast, then head to Massachusetts and the cute town of Hudson. Temescal Wellness will be waiting for you.