If you’re going to grow your own cannabis at home, you’ll need some gear. And sure, it may be tempting to stock up on grow tents, lights, fans, nutrients, and other supplies online, but there’s more to growing a bumper crop than getting the right supplies.
Can sites like Amazon answer questions about soil acidity? Do they know about the hot new organic nutrient that just entered the market—and offer you a sample to take home? It’s little touches like these that make your local grow shop a must-have resource when you’re growing cannabis at home.
Thankfully, more and more grow stores are popping up across Massachusetts, though the choice can be overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite independent shops from the Berkshires to the Cape.
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Right outside Boston is Rootdown Hydroponics, which prides itself on being a “LOCAL 100% woman owned business.” The shop opened in 2010 and has since become a favorite for everything indoor grow. But like most favorite grow stores, it’s less about what Rootdown sells than what extras the shop has to offer. In addition to selling everything you need to start a quality indoor grow, Rootdown offers classes on cultivation and other related skills. Newcomers can even take a free intro class before committing to a full course. It’s a great option for folks who may be curious about growing cannabis but are unsure how to get started.
Rootdown Hydroponics has an incredibly dedicated customer base. Whether that’s due to the store’s monthly specials, its knowledgeable in-house staff, or the personal charm of owner Sabrina, it’s worth a stop if you’re in the area.
For those in the northern part of the state, this family-run grow store is where you want to be. Beyond competitive prices and knowledgeable staff, it’s the extras that keep customers coming back—like the fact that they’ll help carry your purchases to your car. That’s service that anyone who’s had to schlep bags of soil or jugs of nutrients can appreciate! Emerald City also has great return and replacement policies, which can be a big help for newer growers just starting out. It’s also a great source for advice. If you run into some bumps, the staff at Emerald City will help you figure out what’s going on and will even provide suggestions to remedy the issue.
This Franklin County grow store opened a couple years ago on the heels of medical cannabis legalization in the state. With no similar store within 30 miles or more, Western Mass knew it had found a niche. Started by two local men who worked in green construction, the store has gained a reputation for stocking its shelves with products its customers love, which has them coming back repeatedly. Customer service and expertise are other reasons this store remains popular. Frequent shoppers say that the owners, Chance Strom and Joshua Lagreze, go out of their way to make customers feel comfortable asking questions and routinely provide expert advice.
For those in the western hills of Massachusetts, Berkshire Hydroponics has you covered. As with our other favorites, this shop will have what you’re looking for at competitive prices for a local grow shop. And, like the others, it puts a premium on customer service. This family-owned and -run store has been around since 2014. Customers praise the store’s occasional workshops as well as the knowledgeable staff, including owner Tim Mack. And if you’re not into hydroponics, don’t worry—while that’s right in the name, the store sells supplies for all types of grows, from water to soil to alternative mixes.
One awesome thing about a quality grow store is that it doesn’t have to be cannabis-centric. New Farm, out in Orleans, on Cape Cod, is a prime example. This family-run store not only offers a variety of growing supplies and expert hydroponic advice, but you can also pick up baby chicks if you’re interested in raising chickens. And if growing your own cannabis isn’t enough, the shop has all the necessary supplies to get you started making your own wine, beer, and cheese!
Fans of this store deem it the best grow store on the Cape, citing the inviting nature of the store, deep knowledge of the employees, and various opportunities for community members to learn more in workshops and classes.