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MASSLIVE: First MBE Dispensary in Western Mass to Open in Northampton and Springfield

By May 17, 2021November 17th, 2021No Comments

Since cannabis became legalized in Massachusetts, Mark Cutting, President and Chief Diversity Officer of Enlite Cannabis Dispensary, and his team saw more than the average business opportunity. This vision back in 2016 is one that’s evolved into a way to support emerging cannabis companies in the area, become a role model for other minority-owned businesses looking to break into the industry, and give back to the community.

“Enlite Cannabis Dispensary was born out of a conversation and the excitement about cannabis being legalized in the state of Massachusetts,” Cutting states. Since those initial discussions, it’s been quite a journey and one the founders hope will benefit everyone within the cannabis space.

Pioneering MBE Dispensary

Enlite Cannabis Dispensary prides itself on being the first Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)/Social Equity applicant with the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) to open in Western Massachusetts. Businesses seeking these credentials are required to go through a rigorous certification process, explains Matt Yee, Chief Operating Officer.

Applicants must have specific qualifications and be vetted by the State of Massachusetts. Several applicants that apply may qualify but can run into several challenges along the way, making this a significant milestone for the company. “It’s quite a process at the state level,” Yee notes.

With a background in the aerospace and defense industry, Cutting knows firsthand how important an MBE certification can be. “The company I started back in 1982 is a certified MBE competing in a very competitive marketplace,” Cutting states. Companies like his who supplies products that are used on programs that support the Department of Defense (DOD) are subject to flow-down requirements set by the government, making it often difficult to emerge in that space, even with the networking and other opportunities in place.

“It’s difficult as a small business—whether you’re a minority or not. It’s challenging to get the attention of the customer,” Cutting explains. “Being MBE certified is an opportunity to hopefully get a seat at the table.”

 

Unique Customer Experience

Enlite Cannabis Dispensary looks forward to opening in Northampton this November and Springfield (coming 2022). In terms of offerings and local partnerships, the company has big plans for catering to its consumers in innovative ways and delivering exactly what they need within its state-of-the-art facilities. Yee notes that local cannabis establishments are looking forward to working with Enlite Cannabis Dispensary and remarks on how its approach will ultimately benefit customers in the end.

“They know that we’ll learn everything about their products and represent them to the maximum to consumers. And while working with big brands, we’ll have a menu that will be very diverse and accumulate a large amount of selection. So anybody coming in will find something that they like,” Yee says.

Within the cannabis industry, Yee discusses the advantages of being a small locally owned, minority-owned business and how the company’s unique status appeals to potential partnering cannabis producers in the area and beyond. “Those folks understand the struggles of developing a new business and not having the capital of some of the multi-state operators,” he adds. “They see us as a prime partner to team up with them, represent their brand, and get their products out to consumers.”

 

Community Impact

One of the biggest aspects that set Enlite Cannabis Dispensary apart is its dedication to the community as a whole. As Danielle Veronesi, Director of Community Relations and Marketing, notes, the group will support many local organizations. “The people that are invested into Enlite Cannabis Dispensary are invested into the community,” she says. “They live here, they raise their families here, and they have businesses here. Community and giving back is our focus.”

Through their groundbreaking efforts, the team aims to bring in new jobs and support the local economy. The company is proud to diversify the industry and serve as a role model that other minority-owned businesses can look to in the future. “They don’t need to be a multi-state operator with tens of millions of dollars backing them. It’s probably one of the reasons why I occupy this space and go to work every day,” reflects Yee.

For more information about Enlite Cannabis Dispensary, contact info@enlitecannabis.com.

ARTICLE PROVIDED COURTESY OF ADVANCE LOCAL MEDIA LLC & MASS LIVE