After a soft opening a few weeks ago Boston’s latest adult use and medical cannabis dispensary, Ascend, officially cut the ribbon on its Friend Street location.
Located at 272 Friend St. Ascend aims to serve customers from the West End, Beacon Hill, the North End and Downtown.
Headed by former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral, the Ascend team purchased the Friend Street building a few years back and transformed the aging vacant structure into the retail marijuana shop as well as Ascend’s corporate headquarters. The 15,000 sq. ft. building boasts multiple floors for its retail marijuana operation that gives customers ample space and reduces the number of people that have to wait outside. The Ascend team also spent millions of dollars renovating not only the inside but also the building’s facade. Like many other cannabis dispensaries there’s limited signage and opaque windows to shield interior activity from neighbors and pedestrians walking by.
“At Ascend, we believe in best-in-class digital tools that allow our customers to easily browse our menus, order online and conveniently pick-up their products in-store,” said Ascend in a statement. “All of our products are locally grown and meticulously tested so you can trust that you’re buying the cleanest and highest-quality cannabis.”
The Ascend company is a multi-state cannabis operation serving both medical patients and adult-use customers.
“We believe in offering a wide selection of products at the best prices with a consistent and convenient shopping experience,” the statement continues. “Our team of passionate associates are knowledgeable and can help guide you to the best products to suit your needs.”
Ascend is currently operating in Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey.
The dispensaries in Massachusetts include the flagship Friend Street location, which is now the largest dispensary on the East Coast. The group is planning a second location in Newton and a third store in New Bedford.
Ascend will also take part in the Last Prisoner Project and teamed up with the nonprofit through a donation match.
“While we understand and appreciate how fortunate we are to be in a position to help build and guide the future of modern cannabis, we are also acutely aware of the lives that have been destroyed, especially in minority communities, through decades of unjust laws and inequitable enforcement,” teh statement continued. “There are currently over 40,000 nonviolent criminals sitting in prison for cannabis offenses. This costs taxpayers billions of dollars per year and has done immeasurable damage to the families of the incarcerated. We think this is unacceptable, which is why we have teamed up with the Last Prisoner Project
Ascend received Boston Zoning Board of Appeals approval back in 2019
An adult-use marijuana facility proposed for Friend Street in Boston’s West End was approved by the (ZBA) and later its license from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. The shop gained community and political support due to its location away from main thoroughfares like Causeway Street.