The Pass Grows Conscious Cannabis Sold by LGBTQ Friendly 'Budtenders'

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday July 11, 2022

The Pass's Berkshire location
The Pass's Berkshire location  

Whether you are a newbie or a knowledgeable cannabis consumer, choosing the right cannabis dispensary can be a complicated and personal process. With a seemingly endless source of cannabis suppliers around the country, consumers can easily be bogged down in the details of product lines and THC percentages, forgetting to check where it all comes from.

In an effort to promote more conscious cannabis consumption, an increasing number of consumers are choosing cannabis dispensaries with locally-sourced products to keep the value of their dollars close to home. Choosing a cannabis dispensary with clear, community-minded principles and environmentally sound business practices can benefit the local economy in so many positive ways. Amidst the mountains and farms of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, those benefits are rolled into one sustainable package at The Pass, located in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

To be clear, a dispensary is a brick-and-mortar storefront that sells cannabis products through a medical license or an adult-use recreational license. The Pass is a vertically integrated adult-use cannabis producer and dispensary, which means that they grow, process, package, and sell their own products right on site.

Cannabis strains are cultivated with unique genetics for yield, purity, and consistency, and producing their own products in their indoor greenhouse and farm field cultivation facilities allows them to control "every aspect of our farm-to-label operation from seed to soil, harvest to cure, lab to kitchen, and prep to package," explains The Pass Marketing Manager Carol Tyson.

"When the customer purchases The Pass products, they can be assured that they're receiving and consuming a premium product," says Tyson. "We are much more than just a dispensary. We're cultivators, producers, retailers, and wholesalers who have a product for everybody!" Being a cannabis producer enables The Pass to curate each concentrate, flower, vape cartridge, and edible to fit the needs of its consumer base. The most popular products at The Pass are their diverse range of flower and convenient, cost effective edible gummies—available in four core flavors - strawberry, lemon, cherry, and tropical, as well as their signature Sun-Up, Knockout, and Citrus 1:1 gummies.

The Pass budtender Angela Genovesi
The Pass budtender Angela Genovesi  

"An incredible amount of thought is put into how our products come out and how they will affect our customers," explains Angela Genovesi, a budtender at The Pass. "You know exactly where your product is coming from." That's the advantage of a vertically integrated cannabis business over a dispensary that is solely a storefront, says Genovesi.

"Practically everything you consume with our label on it is made in our backyard!" she adds. Products made from their backyard also means the profits benefit their backyard. In addition to employing local budtenders, The Pass utilizes its consumer base for community causes such as park, highway, and river cleanups, as well as food drives for local soup kitchens.

"We hold social and diversity committee meetings each week where employees voice different ways to help our community and our consumers," says Genovesi. "We are inclusive, caring, and kind to all who enter our doors and want everyone to leave feeling taken care of and welcome. "At The Pass, creating a conscious-minded cannabis company began with recruiting a staff that cares.

The Pass budtender Kyle Lallatin
The Pass budtender Kyle Lallatin  

"Conscious cannabis consumption means finding a product and dispensary that you feel aligns with your personal ethics and morals," says Kyle Lallatin, a budtender at The Pass. "If a company doesn't support equity within the industry, take a moment to examine what that means."

The Pass budtenders explain that they give customers the information necessary to be an educated consumer. "Being able to use these substances responsibly and appropriately does a lot to remove some of the stigma associated with cannabis consumption," says budtender Ryan Harrington. "Dispensaries can do their part by ensuring that their customers are properly prepared and educated."

Budtenders at The Pass play a pivotal role in guiding and educating consumers to the right products and explaining all of its applications. With a fully loaded menu, budtenders can help customers parse options down to different pairings."A budtender will be able to help a customer comprehend what factors set Gorilla Dawg apart from Orange Cake or Lilac Diesel," explains Kyle Lallatin. "Many customers don't know how effective other cannabinoids beyond THC can be, and helping a customer understand what CBD or CBG are can be crucial to finding the right product."

The Pass budtender  Sean Whelan
The Pass budtender Sean Whelan  

Budtender Sean Whelan adds, "You'll know you've found the right dispensary when it feels like a treat to visit. You should feel comfortable and listened to at a good dispensary."

Understanding what is going to make The Pass' diverse customer base comfortable has helped the company build a strong and growing LGBTQ customer base.

"Being LGBTQ-friendly at The Pass is slightly different than showing your LGBTQ pride-allyship at a yoga center or school," says Lallatin. He explains that many dispensaries have policies that the name on pre-orders must match a customers' ID, leading some LGBTQ+ customers to be dead-named or misgendered. At The Pass, there is a preferred name option to help customers be who they want to be!

"Being an inclusive budtender means believing that in the same way there's a perfect strain or product for someone, there's a perfect match for every person," says Lallatin. At The Pass everyone, including customers, budtenders, and products, are celebrated for their uniqueness. "We are people from different places and different lives who all have one thing in common," adds Genovesi, "a love for cannabis!"

Visit The Pass dispensary at 1375 N Main Street in Sheffield, Massachusetts or shop online at their website.