Your Guide to Marijuana Dispensaries in Massachusetts

Whether you’re seeking a slick, high-tech vibe or a more artsy ambiance to buy your pot, look no further.

Photo illustration by Benjamen Purvis / Photo via Getty Images

If you want to…Browse before you buy

Try: Ascend

With its wide selection of smokable and edible wares on display, Ascend feels more like an Apple store than a traditional get-in, get-out dispensary. Here, tablet-toting staffers help guests navigate glass-case-displayed products from various growers, including the company’s own premium-brand-name pot, Ozone Reserve. Industry pros deemed Ascend Wellness Holdings the “most anticipated [cannabis] IPO of the year,” so expect huge things from the sprawling retailer, whose Boston branch blends right in with the other major merchants nearby, including Converse’s flagship sneaker store.

West End,

If you want to…Chill out in the middle of the busy city

Try: Pure Oasis

Boston’s first recreational cannabis dispensary is still its coolest—from the tranquil, Caribbean-blue and Afro-Latin-inspired mural that covers an exterior wall to the chummy budtenders who put newbie guests at ease. Join Pure Oasis’s “Cannabis Club” for text-message updates on new menu additions, such as 1906 Drops, plant-based THC-infused pills that come in fast-acting varieties like “Midnight” (formulated as a sleep aid), “Bliss” (designed to elicit a calming euphoria), and “Chill” (which adds a high dose of CBD for the most muscle-mellowing effect).


If you want to…Get your pre-rolls where the high rollers do

Try: GreenStar Herbals

Opening at the end of the summer a dice-toss away from the Encore casino, this dispensary takes pride in its snazzy style and upscale selection. Outfitted with a player piano, a gas fireplace, and local art on the walls, the luxe space would please any gambling aficionado who counts Dean Martin or Dan Bilzerian as an idol. So would the choice menu of pre-rolled joints, flowers, tinctures, and topicals from VIP brands like Rythm, which GreenStar’s president and CEO dubs “the Cadillac of cannabis.”


A colorful mural greets guests at Seed’s subterranean Jamaica Plain dispensary. / Courtesy photo

If you want to…Stay woke after you wake and bake

Try: Seed

What do Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Kim, and James Brown all have in common? Their mug shots all hang on the wall at Seed, a shop tucked a stairwell’s-descent underground in Hyde Square. Past an elaborate stone-wall mural illuminated in rainbow colors, friendly staff in zippered black jumpsuits dispense bud and knowledge at the dispensary’s Core Social Justice Cannabis Museum. Complete with a model jail cell, it’s a sobering look at how the history of criminalization has disproportionately targeted communities of color.

Jamaica Plain,

If you want to…Let your artsy-stoner side show

Try: Sanctuary

Creativity-sparking strains, such as the fruity Extraterrestrial Bananas, will help you plumb the meaning of every painting at the Beacon Street Gallery, a professionally curated, rotating exhibition space housed at the Brookline location of this small dispensary chain. Let the stimulating conversation continue during one of Brookline Booksmith’s author readings, which start up again in September, or after taking in a foreign-movie matinee at Coolidge
Corner Theatre.


If you want to…Support a more-equitable cannabis industry

Try: Legal Greens

This Brockton hot spot is the East Coast’s first Black-woman-owned dispensary—a fact that merits more than a footnote as Massachusetts’ newly legal cannabis industry strives to make good on the state’s Social Equity Program. By any measure, though, the shop simply curates fantastic product: revitalizing flower strains like Game Changer, tasty THC-infused fruit chews, and plenty of branded sweatshirts and swag. Pro tip: Pair that bud with suds from Brockton Beer Company, one of the state’s only Black-owned breweries, opening soon around the corner.


10th Planet is a particularly transportive cannabis strain available at Berkshire Roots. / Courtesy photo

If you want to…Bring the dispensary to you

Try: Berkshire Roots

Don’t feel like getting off your couch to get a fresh order of local-mountain-grown leaves? In addition to operating a new Eastie storefront, Pittsfield-based Berkshire Roots—known for potent cannabis concentrates such as Greylock OG, named for Massachusetts’ highest peak—will be the first dispensary available on Zip Run, a highly funded startup that’s introducing home delivery of adult-use marijuana to Boston.

East Boston,

If you want to…Get high while keeping your carbon footprint low

Try: Nova Farms

Right now, an estimated 10 percent of industrial electric consumption in the Bay State is generated by indoor cannabis growing. This dispensary hopes to change that by sourcing its supply—wrapped in palm leaves as blunts or infused into honey sticks from Nova’s own apiary—from New England’s largest outdoor cannabis farm, which grows its flowers in the sunlight and fresh air of western Massachusetts. Going green, indeed.