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A River Runs Through It

Blue River Dispensary opens its doors in Cambridge...
By Meredith Freed
Photos - Courtesy of Blue River Dispensary
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Blue River Dispensary opened its flagship adult retail farm-to-table dispensary in March 2023. This majority women-owned social equity company features Blue River’s solventless, high end products and carefully curated local-partner offerings.

The Blue River retail adult-use dispensary is co-founded and led by Jessica Pelletier (chief executive officer), Shanel Lindsay (executive director), and Michael Latulippe (director of business development). The trio have known each other for at least a decade, consider each other family, and are determined to make their business vision a reality in Cambridge.

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Blue River is flowing in the right direction if initial sales are any indication.

In their first seven weeks, Blue River has found that concentrates and vape product sales were almost equal to flower, even as the statewide trend heavily favors flower sales. These numbers indicate the highly sought, trail-blazing concentrates featuring top-shelf choices for the cannabis consumer.

“We collaborate with exceptional growers in Holyoke to create these concentrates and extractions,” says Tony Verzura, Blue River’s chief product and marketing officer.

What’s in Store

Blue River continues to ignite the Massachusetts market with exciting new adult consumption products. The leading-edge, vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free, nut-free (pretty much everything-free, except the cannabis) water-soluble rosin capsules are an easy way to consume cannabis without calories, prep, or clean-up.

The capsules can be pulled apart for sublingual consumption with considerably less wait time than an edible, which relies on the body’s metabolism to activate the effects. The powder disappears in less than 30 seconds with no aftertaste or grainy residuals. If a sublingual administration isn’t for you, adding it to any edible or beverage or just swallowing the pill will deliver the same benefits with a bit of a delay, as with all edibles, but the nanotechnology secures a swifter onset.

Once this product catches on, expect it to fly off the shelves for those seeking a discreet and easy way to consume a reliable 5-milligram dose with no odor, prep, or cleanup necessary.

The newly released Rosin Popping Boba is even more exciting than the rosin capsules. For this collaboration, Verzura teamed up with Scott Van Rixel, a chocolatier and European-trained chef by trade, to bring Van Rixel’s idea of infused live rosin boba to fruition. Choose between Salted Caramel, Java Cold Brew, Grape Berry Bliss, Cherry Sarsaparilla, and Passion Fruit – or try them all to discover your favorite flavor.

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“Each single-serve 5-mg-dose pouch comes with a convenient oversized straw for direct consumption,” says Verzura. Also included are ideas for complimentary mixers, printed on the packaging: add it to lemonade, coffee, or tea, for example, or pour it over dessert. Due to nanotechnology, Rosin Popping Boba delivers a delicious, uplifting experience with shorter onset wait times.

Verzura’s innovation and knowledge shine through with his signature, small batch, solventless, “super-concentrate” extracts Flan and Torrone. Torrone features a proprietary blend derived from Blue River’s signature live rosin, fresh press, and solventless diamonds with the highest purification standards for the ultimate cannabis connoisseur.

Verzura’s favorite small-batch, Flan, is an innovative deconstructed live rosin offering the consumer a unique, euphoric experience. These pure super-concentrates are raising industry standards for quality and affordability with each special batch.

Get Them Now

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While more collaborations and batches are in the works, you’ll likely never get to try it again if you miss one. Changing up strains is an essential defense for seasoned consumers to help counter any tolerance built up from consuming one strain for too long— much like changing up exercise routines to awaken new muscles— and is part of the reasoning for creating these consecutive small-batch concentrates. Much like the niche of the craft brew industry, small batch releases offer patrons exclusive experiences with one-of-a-kind products.

The retail menu showcases Blue River’s signature top shelf products along with local partners like Betty’s Eddies, Harbor House Collective, Local Roots, Nature’s Heritage, and more. Each partner is hand selected to offer thoughtfully curated and affordable options in the adult-use market.

In keeping with the company’s social equity roots, 15 percent of shelf space is designated to feature social equity and economic empowerment companies. Blue River retail also highlights products and accessories from Puff Co, Salem-based glass-blowing business Witch DR, and Ardent appliances.

Verzura’s vision of bringing the most affordable, organic concentrates and solventless extracts to a loyal customer base has materialized. It is gaining ground daily, developing and fostering an engaged, supportive community. You can see the support of people around the city and neighboring towns sporting the available merchandise advertising “TERP DEPT” or the recognizable blue lotus on their gear.

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Massachusetts’ cannabis industry is booming, and Blue River is a proud pioneer of innovative cannabis concentrates and solventless extractions, in addition to their community leadership as a majority woman-owned, social equity business. A second store is expected to open in Somerville mid to late summer, so be on the lookout for this much-anticipated addition to the Blue River portfolio.