PITTSFIELD — After quietly opening its doors to cannabis consumers in mid-November, Pittsfield’s newest pot shop has rolled out pandemic-friendly curbside pickup.
“Things have been tailored to the current conditions with COVID,” said Jack Carney, the manager of Colonial Cannabis Co., the city’s fourth adult-use dispensary.
The shop, at 1021 South St., just across from Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, held a “soft opening” Nov. 16, Carney said, and has ramped up staffing levels to about 15 employees offering customers an array of flower, concentrates, edibles and vaporizers.
Despite opening the dispensary in the middle of surging coronavirus infections in Berkshire County, Carney said he hopes that ramping up curbside pickup will ease any nerves that customers might be feeling about in-store shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.
Customers can preorder online, head to the dispensary and park outside, then call a number displayed on a sign outside to request curbside service, he said.
“We’re hopeful that’s something people appreciate if they’re anxious about going out and shopping but they want to come out and shop,” he said. “This provides them an avenue to do that, while staying safe.”
Debit card payments can be made curbside, as long as everyone in the car is at least 21 years old. Carney said cash buyers will make their transactions inside the front vestibule at the shop. In-store shopping also is underway.
“We are still letting people come into the store if they’d like to do full service,” he said.
Green Biz LLC, doing business as Colonial Cannabis, has its roots in Washington, where Carney worked in horticulture sales with the company’s owner, Hai Qing “Jimmy” Huang, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported. The two eyed opportunity in Massachusetts and began selling hydroponic equipment in the state before opening the first Colonial Cannabis dispensary, in Northampton, over the summer.
The company executed a host community agreement with the city in June 2018 and will pay the city an impact fee for five years. The fee for the first year is $60,000, and it gradually increases to $200,000 annually for the fourth and fifth years. Also, the city will collect a 3 percent sales tax.
Opening up two dispensaries during the pandemic has not been without its challenges, Carney said. The state shut down just before the company was due to open its Northampton retail shop, he said, and in Pittsfield, pandemic-related delays held up inspections required by the Cannabis Control Commission.