“It is a shame to hear people disparaging NETA in Northampton. Most of the complaints are based on a lack of understanding of the state regulations on MMJ in Mass. As a patient, first of all, the legal access to a variety of products is welcome. I have been in NETA on days of long lines where they have implemented an express system effectively, and even with the busiest times I have never felt rushed by a bud tender and they have always been honest in their assessment of any products I asked about. In general, everything has been as advertised, and the bud tenders genuine enthusiasm about giving you a smell is nice, even if it is clearly a trained behavior. They enjoy it too. Since I have actually read and taken the time to understand the laws in MA, I am hopeful that the quality and diversity of what is available will continue to improve. So far, so good.”
“personally I feel their products are waaay low... price is ridiculous, your paying extra $$$ to compensate for all the artsy design.
I would not send a friend there, or suggest a patient to them. Yeah staff are friendly, but
that's cause your paying too much $$$ so why wouldn't you be nice to patients who pay your bills/paycheck? not 100% satisfied in general.”
We are sorry to read your review regarding cost. We continually monitor pricing at other RMD's to ensure that we are in-line with the Massachusetts market. The design of our retail facility has little (if any) impact on the cost of our medicine. But hopefully, it does have a positive impact on our patients' well-being. We believe that a warm, inviting environment is more conducive to ongoing wellness than a DMV-style experience. Healthy mind = healthy body.
“Don't judge a book by it's cover. The place looks and feels great, but is also very wasteful and has weak strains with limited descriptions. I feel this place gets caught up on hyping a product they hardly can describe themselves.
Doesn't that seem wrong? Get to know your product really well, THEN sell it.
Numerous sales people I talked to in-depth with questions could hardly answer me. As a 15-year user and multiple state card holder, there's plenty to know. It seems that the staff training is in a "retail" mindset, not about getting it right. No one there seemed like a pro bud-tender, or even close.
On to the products themselves:
I was excited at first, but after trying half a dozen flowers and the Lozenge (which had ZERO effect on me), it's mostly been disappointing.
Coming from California, the business is much more advanced there with years of experience, but NETA doesn't seem to be learning from them.
Overall, with little competition, its bittersweet to have a local dispensary, but with all flash and no substance.
A few tips for the owners reading this:
1. Learn from your customers - not by tossing an info card at them, but truly interacting with them for suggestions. Be creative, ask questions, interact online, change and progress.
2. Know your product - the one sentence descriptions mean nothing. Use the product yourself with a group, organize a structure to write descriptive, original, detailed notes about the strain. Or, grow strains that are already popular and have deep info like here on Leafly - then you don't have to write anything! The key here is for people to know what they are buying. Not buy scientific stats alone, but words that have meaning. It's crucial - otherwise, uneducated users are in the dark.
3. Less waste - I'm sure the MA requirements are strict, but someone needs to rethink the packaging process. Wow, 3 plastic containers and stickers for an 1/8th? 2 won't due? Or even just one bag? Do we really need more plastic everywhere?
4. Promote - Don't say you can't, the business is absolutely promoted. So get creative and give users opportunities to try new strains without committing. Like a free gram of your choice with every X amount purchased, etc. That opens the door to trying - which is crucial to build a menu out. How many restaurants just cook something, give a vague description and expect people to just go with it. It's not sustainable. Being the first dispensary in the area, you should set a standard before other newcomers do.
Thanks for reading and I hope you see some insight here.”
Hi LC101, thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive review. As such, we will try to address all of your comments.
To begin, there is a learning curve for associates in every industry. Consultants to NETA have decades of combined experience operating some of the largest dispensaries, cultivations, and MIPs in the country. The training program for our PSAs (patient service associates) is the most comprehensive that we have seen. That written, if you have been intimately involved in MMJ for over 15 years, you likely possess a very deep knowledge base. Ongoing PSA education is a cornerstone principle for us and that will never change.
To your specific points:
1. Our average patient transaction time is over ten minutes. We can do things faster, but we try to take the time with every patient to answer the questions he or she may have. Our response time to inquiries on social media is under 2 hours. We are proud of both these statistics, but if your experience was less than perfect, we have room to improve.
2. We limit descriptions to a sentence or two as the effects of different strains or products are very personal and subjective. A "one size fits all" synopsis would be misplaced. We encourage the PSAs, who are also patients, to share their individual experiences, but they may not apply to all patients. That is why we encourage new visitors to log their own experiences by product and share them with us so we can better service them in the future. Also of note - cultivation in MA is required to be initiated by seed only. This means that all phenotyping must be done in-house. NETA has germinated nearly 10,000 seeds at this point. Some strains have tested in the 30%+ TAC range, others are lower. Determining what phenos to retain involves a lot more than a test result. Growth rates, yield, structure, aroma, natural resistance to pests, vigor, stability, terpenoid profile, etc. all play into the final determination as to what constitutes a "keeper." This all takes time. As you likely know, clone-to-shelf can be nearly 6 months and NETA has been barely open for 3 months. We will get there.
3. Unfortunately, the answer is yes - we do need that much plastic. The labeling and packaging rules are what they are.
4. Promotions are not permitted under state regulations. NETA offers discounts on certain strains and products based upon a number of factors. Unlike many dispensaries across the country, we strive to provide patients with as much opportunity to diversify their orders as possible. Want 28 different grams in an ounce? You've got it. Want one of everything? No problem.
We'd like to make one additional note here: As of this writing, NETA's menu contains 30 different products. In just a few more months, that number will be 60+. Unlike just about every other state in the country, California included, anything on NETA's menu must be produced in house. No outsourcing, no wholesaling allowed. In a 20-year-old market like California, there exist several hundred infused product manufacturers and thousands of cultivators. A dispensary in that jurisdiction can pick and choose what to sell just like any other mainstream retailer. We are proud of our products and proud of our staff. Our organization's leadership have been pioneers in the MMJ industry and we have seen just how long it has taken to mature. The learning curve in MA has been very steep, indeed. However, three months in, the menu offered at NETA today is light years beyond what was available in Cali circa 2001 or Colorado circa 2009. Lastly, you have our assurance that we will not rest and will always strive to improve.
“I am a new medical marijuana patient being treated for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. On my first trip to NETA upon entering a nice young woman came to sit with me and discuss any of my questions or concerns. It is a very comfortable and welcoming environment even for new users. The purchase process is clear and easy. Everyone was extremely patient and kind. The product itself has been excellent. I've been back once more and will be making another trip soon. The edibles are excellent. I used to have chronic pain, nausea and insomnia - now I am able to relieve pain and nausea with ease and I sleep every night. This plant is a gift to those who are suffering, this dispensary treats it as such. I have already and will continue to recommend NETA as a reliable, comfortable dispensary for medical marijuana needs.”
“This is the first dispensary I've ever gone to, and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't feel pressured or confused, and staff were more than happy to talk to me about my options. I even had a couple of snafus in payment and wasn't made to feel uncomfortable or awkward any more than I would have at a "regular" store.
I'm definitely going to be back.”
“I'm extremely disappointed to find multiple seeds in a single gram of Afgooey... And then more seeds in other indicas as well! I understand sativa strains popping a seed or 2, but indicas!? I also got "the last" of one batch of CBD weed only to have them open the next batch - which tested with 2x more cbd. What!? I'll be visiting somewhere else until they can stabilize their flower.”
We do apologize if you received flower that was seeded. Unfortunately, even though we take great pains to properly sex our plants, our cultivation was required to be initiated from seed (we germinated over 7000) and some males/hermaphrodites still managed to sneak through our screening. We are steadily phenotyping all strains and this type of incident will be a thing of the past before too long. We appreciate your understanding. We do guarantee our products 100% so please reach our to us at the dispensary so we can make this right.
“This place is absolutely superb. Today was my first visit and I am newly registered, the staff are easily the nicest people I've encountered in Massachusetts. Everyone loves their job and takes it seriously, which quickly put me at ease. Both the greeter Michaela and the woman Kate who assisted me were gracious, kind, knowledgeable and genuinely happy to see me. Kate was very happy to walk me through all the information regarding medicine and treatment, which was great. They have a large selection and variety of products, and an extremely warm and welcoming environment. I can't wait for the Brookline location to open!”
Hi Jersey5, we're sorry you were unhappy with your purchases. We do have several strains with large buds, our edibles are tested for potency by a third-party lab - results are listed on the product label, and we flush all flower for a minimum of two weeks - usually more. As always we guarantee our products 100% so please feel free to reach out to us so we can make this right.
“This was my first trip to NETA but definitely will not be my last. They had a good selection and the whole process was pretty streamlined. Compared to the other dispensary this place had a much larger selection and better prices.”
“I visited NETA for the first time yesterday and it was an amazing experience. From start to finish, all the staff members were polite, engaging, and really seemed to enjoy their jobs. Security was very professional and kind. No metal detectors or pat-downs. I was in-and-out of NETA in about 15 minutes, as a first-time customer, so the efficiency of the place is outstanding. (I did pre-fill the paperwork ahead of time.) Picked up three strains: Anmesia Haze, Grape Trainwreck, and Walker Kush as well as a few edibles. Flower is great, better than ~90% of what's around on the street. I will definitely be a repeat customer.”