“A lot of exciting innovation, a lot of fun branding and products coming out and hitting the market, and endless opportunities for connection in this community.”
Northeast Alternatives Founder and CEO Chris Harkins became inspired to learn about and later share his knowledge of cannabis as an alternative treatment for various ailments after both of his parents received cancer diagnoses.
In 2018, that vision blossomed into Northeast Alternatives, a vertically-integrated cannabis company with a flagship location in Fall River and a manufacturing facility cranking out some of the most exciting products on the market—from edibles to concentrates.
We caught up with NEA Director of Wholesale Hillary King at the New England Cannabis Convention, where the company took first place in the Best Massachusetts Medical Dispensary category and grabbed a few other trophies as well for their products. We started by asking about NEA’s Birthjay, “the world’s first joint birthday candle.”
Northeast recently partnered with Higher Celebrations on this one. Tell us about it …
Birthjays are a very unique novelty joint. It’s a preroll with a little candle on top and extra components that allow you to have your cake and smoke it too. They were created by Higher Celebrations after many years of development; we’re honored to be the Massachusetts filling partner to bring them here.
Personally, what are some of your other favorite products?
The new Cannatini gummies with the minor cannabinoids. We have Cannatini Daylight, which is made with Sativa RSO and 5mg Of THCP. As well as the Cannatini Nightcap, which is made with Indica RSO and CBN. So we are pairing these minor cannabinoids with our full spectrum RSO extract to create specific effects and formulas that are new to our lineup.
What’s changed since last year in the industry?
This has been the first NECANN since the industry has been so developed, there are a lot more stores open, manufacturers, new brands, and really the landscape has changed dramatically in the last six months. There is a lot of exciting innovation, a lot of fun branding and products coming out and hitting the market, and endless opportunities for connection in this community.
As the industry evolves, what should we expect from Northeast Alternatives?
The future is bright. We built a following in our hometown Fall River and have a strong following for our wholesale brands and a presence at many dispensaries across the state. So we are looking to grow that, we have a couple more stores in Massachusetts coming online. Keep an eye out for our store in Seekonk, also we are starting to expand in other states. Don’t call us an MSO, we are a Craft MSO haha. You will find us in Michigan, and the next area of expansion is going to be New York and New Jersey.
What recommendation would you have for cannabis users?
One of my biggest recommendations is to explore, be open-minded, and try new things. Maybe there’s a cannabinoid or formulation or a delivery method that you have not considered yet that you can discover. The possibilities of the cannabis plant are endless in terms of what it can do for us, our lives, our mind, and our bodies. Really get out in the community. This is the best community of people who are friendly, welcoming, and open-minded. When we consume cannabis together it engenders and increases all those good vibes and feelings. So I can’t imagine anywhere else I want to be.
Blunts or joints?