Full Bottle Ahead: Good Feels Finds Its Niche In The Cannabis Cooler

An independent Massachusetts infused beverage business forges forward through frustration, regulation, and carbonation

Before Jason Reposa could make a big leap into the cannabis world, the longtime tech entrepreneur had to find a literal location to site his business. Starting in 2019, he re-discovered his appreciation for the plant in seeking solutions for discomfort and inflammation, but the decision to switch careers and enter the budding weed industry came with its own pains.

“One of the reasons we chose this space specifically is because when we were first looking, you couldn’t find real estate—it was so hard to find any space available. And I’m a lazy entrepreneur, so I kept everything as local as I could.”

Having spent his adult life working in startups including as the CEO of mybanktracker.com, Reposa was new to the brick and mortar hustle, but he quickly saw that tenacity applies across industries, including in the one he was about to help build from the ground up in Mass. He found the current Good Feels space on Craigslist, but had to play a game of telephone before finally tracking down the owner.

“If you’re determined to do something, then you have to just drive down all those paths to get there,” he said during a recent tour of the facility. “I got to the property manager and he was like, Oh, you saw that ad on Craigslist, and I was like, [Yes, but] I had to make three or five phone calls to get to you eventually.”

When he finally went to check it out, the landlord said that there had been some kind of tile company in operation there, Reposa recalls. But upon further inspection, it turned out the prior tenant had been cultivating cannabis illegally on the premises. “He was actually growing here,” Reposa said.

As a result of the illicit operation, the owners had to tear out all the walls and de-stink the place before the legal beverage company could move in. Once Good Feels secured the raw 1,900 square ft. warehouse in Medway, it was time to start their own production, though with much more oversight than the previous renter, and with the goals of being sustainable, emitting zero net carbon, and paying a living wage to employees.

“One of the big issues with starting any cannabis businesses is you just don’t know what you’re getting into—especially if you’ve never made a drink before,” Reposa said. He points to their elaborate equipment, including four tanks that can each hold about 5,000 seltzers. “All these pieces didn’t go together, and so we had to have the special engineers come in and literally cut stainless steel and put them together to manufacture [the bottling line].”

The founder says their products—infused seltzers and beverage enhancers, for now—are “high quality all the way, we don’t shortcut anything.” “Forget about expiration dates,” Reposa said, “if our flavors get old, we go and get new ones.” Production Director Alana Mannarino added, “We are very selective with the distillate we get; we want it to be at least 90% THC. We’ll spend a whole day emulsifying THC and CBD; we’re always looking for 99% isolate for CBD.”

In fulfilling their mission, you might even say the Good Feels team members have made things hard on themselves—not just in the name of quality, but also for the sake of standing out. For starters, while most other infused drinks come in a can, Reposa instead favored a chubby amber glass vessel that summons Red Stripe vibes.

“The reason we went to bottles is because cans are so problematic,” Reposa said. “A lot of people don’t realize that all cans are lined with plastic. If you take cannabis oil and put it into an aluminum can, it would leach into the sides of the can, so the plastic liner would absorb all of the cannabinoids. In other words, six months later, there would be nothing left. So I figured glass is inert, let’s just dump it in the glass instead. That’s how we created that iconic shape and presence of our bottle.”

While those may sound like fighting words, Reposa is more bridge builder than bridge burner. Popular on social media where he spills his guts through both success and horror stories, he posts about more than just his own experience. Along with his wife Karen Reposa, Jason also publishes a weekly email newsletter with links to weed events around New England and the Tri-State. And when multi-state operator Trulieve announced it was exiting the Massachusetts market earlier this year, he personally took up the task of building a spreadsheet listing available positions at various companies to help those who lost their jobs.

It’s smart to make friends. In their journey as a small business in an extremely competitive cannabis landscape, Good Feels needs all the support it can get. For a new company working in a new industry following new regulations, there are challenges around every corner—especially when they’re the first to try something.

“One of the biggest unknowns when we were launching was if our bottle was going to be considered opaque—it’s in the regulations [that you’re not allowed to show the actual product],” Reposa said. “I still wouldn’t have a clear bottle [if it was allowed], but the point is, Is an amber bottle opaque? And we were sufficiently able to convince the CCC that it was.”

He continued, “A lot of the stuff we do here is because we have these regulations thrown at us—like with the bottle cap. … Bottle caps that you actually need a lever for had already been approved in California and in the Canadian market, so we figured Massachusetts had to approve it. But we still had to go through the process. We sent a bunch of [empty] bottles with the little yellow caps on it, put it in front of 50 kids and seniors, and the kids had to not be able to open it and the seniors had to be able to open it. That’s how you do child safety certification.”

Sure as they produce more bottles, Good Feels will also face new battles as an innovative outfit in a nascent arena. Next up, Reposa hopes to be able to manufacture beverages that exceed the current 5 mg THC limit on the adult-use side. He also testified on behalf of a bill that would enable smaller companies like Good Feels to make higher-dose products via the state’s medical program.

“Half of our audience right now are seniors, who have pain issues, who have sleep issues, anxiety issues,” Reposa said during our visit. “Our products work really well. And it’s extremely frustrating that we aren’t allowed to create a higher [potency] product for people who need it.”

None of which gets the Good Feels crew feeling bad. Since they filled and labeled their first bottle in 2021, they have pushed forward relentlessly.

“It’s not like we nail it the first time and we’re done,” Reposa said. “You have to kind of adapt as things change in the market, and as things change in your technique.”

He continued, “Every product you release has to have good marketing, it has to have a go-to-market strategy. A lot of people don’t think about those things, they just slap the logo on it and they’re done.

“You have to have boots on the ground, you have to have all your marketing in place, and you have to show up to these stores. If you don’t show up to these stores to support the product, then dispensaries aren’t going to sell it for you.”