Theory Wellness: A Dispensary of Firsts | Sponsored | Dispensaries | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Last Updated: 12/01/2021 10:20 am

Back in January 2019, it looked like a party every day outside Theory Wellness. The Great Barrington dispensary had just begun retail recreational cannabis sales, and lines of enthusiastic shoppers snaking across the parking lot were a daily occurrence at the Berkshire’s first adult-use recreational dispensary.

Now the secret’s out, the lines are a memory (thanks to improved efficiency), and inside Theory Wellness, the party goes on.

A dispensary of firsts, Theory continues to evolve with top-notch customer service, a first-of-its-kind social equity initiative, and innovative products. Its Great Barrington location was the first medical dispensary in the Berkshires when it opened in the fall of 2017, and its Sheffield outdoor cultivation facility was one of the first licensed recreational outdoor cultivation on the East Coast.

“Theory Wellness has six dispensaries throughout Maine and Massachusetts; the Great Barrington location set the tone going forward as our first adult-use location,” says Vice President of Marketing Thomas Winstanley.

Theory’s focus on customer service has helped elevate its popularity. Winstanley points to the dispensary’s net promoter score (NPS) as proof: An index ranging from 0 to 100, the NPS measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. “Industry-wide, our score is 89.3,” says Winstanley. “The standard for retail is in the 40s. This level of performance is what we’re going after and it’s only because of our incredible staff.” As a basis of comparison, Apple currently boasts a 47 NPS score.

Paired with that customer service is a selection of curated products reflecting Theory’s vertical integration. The Great Barrington recreational dispensary offers an array of cannabis products including flower, edibles, vaporizers, pre-rolls, and now, beverages.

“We’ve evolved to now carry about 70 in-house products,” Winstanley says. “We produce, create, and manufacture everything ourselves. It’s a full ecosystem: We push boundaries, and challenge ourselves to excel in a new industry. Our consumers guide us on how to make a more efficient business with products they love.”

In return, Winstanley says, Theory Wellness has a certain level of responsibility to its consumers, helping them understand the effects of its products: “We don’t rush our customers. This is an emerging market. We schedule one-on-one consultations for customers who need them. We want to pair people with products based on where they are in their cannabis journey.”

Addressing the future of legal cannabis is a priority for Theory Wellness, as well. “We’re helping define what the future of cannabis looks like,” Winstanley says. “We are on the forefront as cannabis is evolving rapidly by the day.”

A big part of that is recognizing the history of cannabis injustice and the systemic inequalities that remain within the industry. Access to capital is the biggest barrier to entry in the legal cannabis industry. In 2019, Theory Wellness developed its Social Equity Program: After interviewing 15 to 20 prospective entrepreneurs, the company partnered with Legal Greens, offering the Economic Empowerment-certified new business valuable advice, access to human resources, technical assistance, and $250,000 of financing. In addition, Theory Wellness recently launched delivery with Treevit, a social equity applicant who has one of only three recreational cannabis courier licenses in the state.

Theory Wellness is proud of its diverse workforce and high employee retention rate, both of which result in the strong customer service that Winstanley credits to team members themselves as the company navigates this new industry. “Building strong dialogue with our customers is key. We hope to stay ahead of the curve as cannabis retail continues to mature,” Winstanley says. “We’re constantly informed by the consumers we’re hoping to serve.”

Theory Wellness
394 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
(413) 650-5527

PLEASE CONSUME RESPONSIBLY. This product may cause impairment and may be habit-forming. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. The impairment effects of Edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222- 1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA. This content is made possible by our sponsor. It does not necessarily reflect the attitude, views, or opinions of the Chronogram editorial staff.

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