Sun-grown cannabis store to open next month in Framingham

Alison Bosma
| MetroWest Daily News

FRAMINGHAM — Sun-grown cannabis products could be for sale off Rte. 9 just after Valentine’s Day, if everything goes according to plan.

“There are certainly other dispensaries in the MetroWest area,” Nova Farm’s CEO, Blair Fish, said. “What makes us unique is we made the decision a while ago to use Mother Nature. …. It’s really about letting the sun and Mother Nature do its trick.”

Nova Farms is opening its second retail location in a former Papa Gino’s at 1137 Worcester Road. The company grows its cannabis product outdoors in the Berkshires, unlike most cannabis companies, where the product is grown indoors.

“From soil to oil, it is definitely a more natural and … ecofriendly, organic type of process that we use,” Fish said.

Growing outside produces different smell and flavor profiles from plants grown indoors, he said.

Fish expects to open about two weeks after a state inspection this week.

The company’s other location is in Attleboro, but Fish said Framingham will be Nova Farm’s “flagship” store.

“My brother and I grew up in Wellesley,” he said, of Nova Farm’s manager, David Ross. “I hung out in Framingham my whole life.”

Nova Farms is one of six retail marijuana businesses Framingham approved within the past two years. That number is expected to be the city’s cap on such businesses.

More: Six marijuana shops on track to open in Framingham

The company hit a speed bump in October 2019, when the state suspended all of its licenses after one of the people listed as having ownership of Nova Farms licenses, Mark Rioux, was charged with conspiracy to commit marijuana trafficking.

Rioux maintained his innocence, and the charges were dismissed within about a month. At the time, Fish said the state investigation was “heartening,” and that such investigations protect the industry and, ultimately, the company itself.

More: State lifts license suspension on cannabis company Nova Farms

As Nova Farms readies to open its doors to customers, district manager Marc Figueiredo said the company’s culture should stand out.

“Everybody comes to work day to day, and they really love what they do,” he said, “and I think it really kind of resonates across the board to our customers.”

Staff are constantly training, Fish and Figueiredo said, and can answer customer questions.

The Framingham store design incorporates a lot of natural elements, such as stonework on the walls and wooden beams on the ceiling, reflecting the company’s principles. The building covers 3,072 square feet, Fish said, with about three-quarters of that devoted to the showroom floor.

“One thing we’re really focused on is making our space comfortable,” Figueiredo said. “We want people to come in here and feel like they’re at home.”

Fish and Figueiredo said the store’s products include the full range of cannabis options, from flower to concentrates to edibles. Figueiredo said he’s especially proud of a new line of sour gummies, with flavors like blood orange and key lime, as well as live hash resin.

“Hash is kind of an old school thing,” Figueiredo said. “We’re kind of bringing a little bit of new school to it, as well.”

The live resin is created by flash freezing fresh product and subjecting it to an ice water-based process, rather than the chemicals typically used.

“Our guy that’s working in the lab right now is a … genius,” Figueiredo said.

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Alison Bosma can be reached at 508-634-7582 or Find her on Twitter at @AlisonBosma.

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