LOWELL — With cloudy skies overhead and light mist dusting the windshields of cars in the parking lot on Thursday, Reverie 73 officially opened to the general public at 10 a.m.
Located at 1148 Bridge St. in the Centralville neighborhood, the new store is named after a dream state and an early effort to legalize cannabis in 1973. The new store looks to elevate the experience of shopping for cannabis-based products.
“It’s pretty amazing to have a project that’s been three years in the making come to fruition,” General Manager Danielle Gravelle said. “I’ve been here for six months and we started with kind of bare bones and built it up and created this beautiful environment that people can shop. Our team is super excited to have it launching on St. Patrick’s Day.”
When a customer first walks in, they are able to see beyond the check-in desk. Once beyond the electronically controlled glass gate, they are able to walk around the store, seeing products neatly packed into glass cases.
Hanging from the ceiling, in the center of the store, is a multicolored glass centerpiece, blown by artist Anthony Primo of New Jersey. The piece took six months and combines 365 pieces of glass twisted together — the flowing lines invoke images of a bubbler’s stem pipe.
“The crazy part is he said, ‘I can only make 10 a day,’” said Ben Alpern, a muse — that’s what employees are called — at the new store. “He said, ‘If I don’t like the way it looks or the way it’s twisted, I don’t use it.’ He’s a really great guy to work with, especially when you’re able to go down and meet him.”
In the heart of the store are premium pipes, blown by Witch DR in Salem. Alpern highlighted the squid piece, which features a price tag of $3,500. Two lobster claws in the same case could also be purchased for $80 apiece. Alpern said there are two employees at Witch DR whose sole job is to blow pieces of glass.
While the luxurious pieces of glass may come at a cost, owner Jeff Black said the price of products like marijuana flower, edibles, tincture and topicals are in line with the rest of the market.
The promise of being upscale is about providing customers the best experience possible. While Alpern was explaining products to The Sun, he would normally be guiding a customer through the selection, explaining each product’s effects.
“We’re trying to make it inviting and make sure that people feel welcome here,” Black said. “That’s why we have muses walking around the show floor. They’re going to greet you the second that you walk in.”
A customer is welcome to head straight to the counter and make a selection or pick up an order reserved ahead. However, Black said the muses are there to provide an “upscale experience without feeling intimidated.”
Through creating a space that is relaxed and inviting, Black said the hope is to attract customers of all kinds. He hopes that someone looking to try a cannabis-based product for the first time will do so in his store.
An additional tool customers will have is a cannabis guide, where customers can track what products they’ve used and what their experience was like. Black said it will help customers find the best products for them.
Next door to Reverie 73 is Haffner’s Gas Station and Car Wash. It isn’t a coincidence that the two businesses are neighbors. Black is a co-owner of Energy North Group, the parent company of Haffner’s.
Choosing Centralville as the location just made sense, he said.
“We know what the traffic is here. Haffner’s is a big part of Lowell. The city has come so far in the past 10 to 15 years and we want to keep helping that progression,” Black said. “We thought bringing something new, exciting, bright that just attracted a different type of customer base to the dispensary was so important. Especially in this area, there’s so much foot traffic here.”
Under two miles from Reverie 73 are Lazy River and RISE Cannabis in Dracut. Also in Lowell, less than five miles away are Cannabist and Smyth Cannabis Co.
Despite the competition being at the doorstep, Black said he believes everyone will be able to thrive in the marketplace. With cannabis being legal for several years now, Black believes people’s perception of the product and the people selling it has changed for the better. He also believes there’s a new level of curiosity.
In attendance for the grand opening was City Councilor Corey Robinson, who represents the Centralville neighborhood. Robinson said he was excited to see the investment
“This is another welcomed small business to our neighborhood,” Robinson said. “The more options we can provide to our residents while being supportive of our business sector, the better partner our local government can become.”
Robinson added that the cannabis industry has “proven itself to be a much-needed community partner when done correctly.”
Two additional Reverie 73 stores are currently in the works, one in Beverly and one in Gloucester. Black believes both stores will be open by the end of 2023. The location in Gloucester will sit above a new gas station.