The founders of NETA Brookline sought to make a splash in Boston—and so they did. The dispensary is housed within the renovated former Brookline Financial savings Financial institution constructing designed by the Swiss-American architect Franz Joseph Untersee, greatest identified for his ornate Roman Catholic church buildings, and constructed by James Driscoll & Sons in 1922. The comely Beaux-Arts constructing is listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.
NETA saved many of the iconic options: a big dome with
teal accent paint across the skylights, arched home windows with mahogany frames,
chandeliers, and a balcony overlooking the polished stone ground.
“The Financial institution,” because the workers likes to name the store, just isn’t solely
a jewel of Boston historical past but in addition one of the vital distinctive retail cannabis
areas within the nation. “Imagine it or not, the constructing was considerably excellent to
home a dispensary” even earlier than reworking, in response to Director of Compliance
Amanda Rositano. The edifice is positioned in a alternative city spot with a number of
foot visitors; steps away from public transportation, fashionable outlets, eating places;
and minutes from Fenway Park. The constructing additionally has a parking zone—a rarity in
Brookline Village—which eases entry for older sufferers. And “from a safety
standpoint, an previous financial institution is a perfect place to deal with cannabis,” Rositano mentioned.
Opening a dispensary in any location is a problem, however
getting NETA licensed and working was no simple feat. Due to the constructing’s
documented historic standing, NETA had to make sure the undertaking not solely gained
approval from native residents, but in addition met all tips of the city’s
Historic Preservation Division. The three-year course of required about forty
conferences with native officers. “We went by the licensing course of twice in
Brookline—as soon as for medical, as soon as for grownup use—and there have been parallel
licensing processes on the state stage,” Rositano mentioned. “Our method has been,
and continues to be, to work collaboratively with our neighbors and native host
The dispensary’s design strikes a fragile steadiness between
the venerable financial institution’s grandeur and a practical, pleasant, and accommodating
retail house. The Beaux-Arts fashion emphasised classical Greek and Roman kinds
and options, large areas, and heavy masonry. Hallmarks embrace elaborately
adorned surfaces, hovering ornate ceilings, lofty home windows, polished cement
flooring, and durable woodwork. All these parts—together with the financial institution’s grand
vault—had been preserved and accessorized with strategically positioned glass show
instances, flat-screen TVs, and black leather-based couches.
“The very first thing we would like individuals to really feel once they stroll into
our shops is comfy and excited concerning the prospects of cannabis,” mentioned
Rositano. To that finish, NETA put in full-service stations the place budtenders
introduce the dispensary’s product stock and reply questions. Prospects
obtain an old-school printed menu they will hold.
NETA opened for medical use in 2016 and obtained a
leisure license in March 2019. Workers, officers, and neighbors spent
months making ready for the tons of—even 1000’s—of individuals they anticipated on rec
launch, anticipating doubtlessly clogged sidewalks, packed intersections, and
parking shortages. Dispensary staff handed out meals and drinks to prospects
ready in line. The ultimate customer tally shocked even NETA executives: 2,500
prospects. The quantity inspired the dispensary to proceed with testing a
“reserve forward” program that permits individuals to peruse merchandise and place orders
on the store’s web site. The system labored with out a hiccup.
Whereas prospects respect the historic preservation of
the house, clean performance retains them coming again, in response to Rositano.
“We needed to verify individuals had sufficient house whereas maximizing the variety of
stations we might have open to serve sufferers and prospects,” she mentioned.
Accordingly, the store affords separate areas for medical sufferers and adult-use
prospects, permitting fast checkout even when the store is buzzing. “Our sufferers
hardly wait in line inside and by no means wait in strains outdoors,” Rositano mentioned. “In
constructing out the house for the introduction of adult-use gross sales, our main
concern was easy methods to decrease impression on our medical sufferers.”
Being a vertically built-in, seed-to-sale enterprise, the
NETA staff has constructed a world-class, 100,000-square-foot indoor facility in
Franklin, Massachusetts, to deal with cultivation, extraction, and infusion
operations. The corporate affords a portfolio of greater than 250 SKUs overlaying a
wide selection of cannabis merchandise and a big number of strains. “We love that
we management the standard and integrity of our merchandise and our manufacturers,” mentioned
The arduous work and planning paid off. With the Commonwealth of Massachusetts being one of many quickest rising adult-use cannabis markets within the U.S., NETA was a first-rate goal for acquisition. In June, Atlanta-based Surterra Wellness purchased the chain. The deal set the stage for future development.
“NETA will proceed to supply sufferers and prospects with
the high-quality manufacturers and extraordinary service they’ve come to count on,”
mentioned Kevin Fisher, co-founder of the dispensary chain. “Collectively, we are able to construct
upon what NETA has already achieved in ways in which deliver superior merchandise
and companies to our present and future sufferers and prospects.”