Our visit to Greatest Hits in search of the sweet spot between music and Mary Jane
There are gimmicks, and there are concepts. And while I am a fan of both, Greatest Hits is solidly the latter, a supremely executed cannabis dispensary that pays proper homage to music culture while still serving up a smorgasbord of select products.
But first, the idea. It’s actually quite simple—marry beats and treats, just like consumers of both have reliably done since cave people were burning bushels and beatboxing in the buff. As Lucas Baier, the vice-president of retail sales, put it during our recent visit to their Taunton store, “Concerts for a lot of us are some of the best experiences that we’ve had in our lives, and to be able to incorporate cannabis and that and make that one of the greatest experiences is what we aim to do.”
So far, the team producing Greatest Hits has opened stores in Taunton on the South Coast and Dudley in Worcester County, with a third location planned for Lynn. Before forming a band to rock their new business, some of the co-founders and early employees worked in other cannabis markets, and saw an opening that dovetailed with their passion.
“Coming to Mass allowed the opportunity to start with that intent and really build out and go for that entourage effect between cannabis and music,” Baier said.
It’s not just posturing. The decor and branding have generic elements, but tastefully, allowing visitors to choose their own musical adventure catered to the genre of their preference. During our walk-through, we heard tracks from artists spanning Nas to Zeppelin. But more important than the sights and sounds at any given moment is the potential for local artistic tie-ins.
The VP of retail sales added, “We have a DJ booth and we do music at both of our locations on Fridays—we’ve actually had a few of the DJs ask to work for us because they’ve had so much fun with our team and being engaged with us.”
Greatest Hits is also popping up during the current Indian Ranch summer concert series, sponsoring shows including Stephen Marley and Badfish, plus additionally scheduling in-store events such as signings and guest speakers with musicians and other creatives.
“Anything we can do to get into the music community and bring that into our space and share that is something we try to do,” Baier said.
Sounds aside, the cannabis is not an afterthought at Greatest Hits. The displays in their Taunton store feature some of the most intimate flower and dab cases we’ve seen in this state, right up there with other gallery settings like Cannapi in Brockton and the Goods in Somerville. Plus they have a tiered philosophy designed to meet people at their most comfortable level.
“We try to address the needs of three types of shoppers,” Baier explained. “The first one is express—they want in and out, they want good product, but they don’t want to spend a lot of time on the shopping experience.”
Then there are the customers “who want a guided tour.” “It’s more educational based,” Baier said, showing us how one could bounce between specialty counters like on the Bloomingdale’s jewelry floor, where Greatest Hits associates can field specific questions and requests.
And finally, “you have the OG kind of shoppers who know what they want and want to look around.” With sprawling glass-enclosed arrangements throughout the place plus self-serve kiosks to browse if that’s your thing, heads have the “ability to go in, look around the sales floor at the options, and check out the smell jars and dab displays.”
“We have people who come in every day and buy a single joint,” Baier said. “Not because they can’t afford to buy a couple at a time, but because they like the experience.”