Gurpreet Kalra, second from right, is the owner of Buds N Roses, which is slated to open at 199 Main Street next week. With him are associates from left, Katie Wood from Burrillville, Charles LeBlanc from Blackstone, Shawn Belanger from Pawtucket and Melissa Silveira from Milford, Mass. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)
BLACKSTONE – Buds N Roses, Blackstone’s second recreational cannabis store, opens next week at 199 Main St.
Gurpreet Kalra, owner of Buds N Roses and Family Grocer across the street, said the recreational license received its final license from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission on Feb.11. The store is scheduled to open next Friday, March 5th, with a soft opening earlier in the week.
The business owner was one of the first to suggest opening a cannabis retail store in town in 2018, two years after Massachusetts residents voted to legalize recreational use. At the time, he suggested using the existing Family Grocer building at 202 Main Street, but later postponed plans across the street after some residents raised concerns that the first location was too close to the bike path.
Now the Walpole resident, Mass., Said, “He anticipates the first few weeks of business will be full.
“We had a lot of likes on Instagram, we have a good number of followers on Instagram, we just asked a lot of people from the Family Grocer,” he said. “We expect to be very, very busy, yes.”
Buds N Roses offers a range of cannabis products, all of which are under the supervision of manager Charles LeBlanc. The Blackstone resident said it was his first foray into the cannabis industry, but he already had accounting and management experience.
“I’ve been a medical patient for four or five years, so I have a lot of experience in many different types of pharmacies,” he said.
The building has been home to a number of businesses over the years, including a television store, weight loss program, and a synagogue. Kalra said they did extensive work on the building to get it outfitted to meet CCC standards. Security measures include cameras, a security guard, a multi-level ID verification station, and a rear vault to store the product.
“It’s pretty much like Fort Knox here,” said LeBlanc.
According to the host’s agreement with the city, Kalra said purchases for the first six months will only be by appointment. After that, they can open up for tours, but he plans to keep an eye on the traffic situation and said he was in the process of renting more parking spaces for the building.
Buds N Roses is the second cannabis store to open in Blackstone in less than a month. Two weeks ago, DDM Cannabis opened its doors to customers in the Millerville district. Both business owners stated that the licensing process was extensive and far more difficult compared to their experiences in other industries.
“It’s been a very long process and probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in business,” said Kalra.
Despite expressing concerns that multiple cannabis stores in one city could flood the market, Kalra believes he has built a reputation with his customers at the Family Grocer. A third store, Green Choice Dispensaries, is also looking to open on Main Street, but that company is still negotiating its agreement with the hosting community and has other requirements to meet before opening.
The business currently has 12 employees, but it could expand to 15 in the future, he said.
Buds N Roses is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Customers must book an appointment online at www.budsnroses.us or by calling 508-928-1741.