August 1, 2018

Worcester's first medical marijuana dispensary a homecoming for Good Chemistry

Photo | Zachary Comeau
Good Chemistry CEO Matthew Huron stands in front of a point-of-sale counter at the company's Worcester dispensary expected to open Thursday.

Good Chemistry has been leasing their 9 Harrison St. space in Worcester for five years. On Thursday, the city's first medical marijuana dispensary will finally open.

"It's been a labor of love," said CEO Matthew Huron.

The state's adult-use industry is slowly chugging through its rollout, and Good Chemistry plans to enter that market by the end of the year; but Huron and his company are founded on the principle that medical cannabis can be extremely beneficial.

Huron, a San Francisco native, said his father and his father's partner both had HIV. In 2000, Huron began a small medical marijuana co-op to help his father and his partner relieve some symptoms. From there, the company expanded into hospice care and assisted living facilities.

When both men passed in 2009, Huron nearly left the industry due to California's poorly regulated industry until a friend in Colorado invited him to come work in that state's new medical marijuana program.

"I looked at those regulations and liked the fact that it was very transparent," he said. "We want to be as transparent as we possibly can."

What began as a 15-employee company exploded into a company with about 180 employees and now four dispensaries and four cultivation facilities in Colorado, Nevada and now Massachusetts.

The company is also 100-percent vertical and is completely self funded. There are no outside investors or even a board of directors.

"It's been quite a journey," Huron said.

Armed with 18 years of cultivation experience, Huron said his team - with the help of a Harvard-trained medical advisor - has nearly perfected the craft, which is portrayed in literature and signs in the Canal District facility.

A variety of pamphlets available at the front desk educate the patient on how to select the correct product based on what their needs are.

Huron also developed the S.T.A.T.S. guide, which instructs a patient to look for five key qualities in cannabis: sight, touch, aroma, taste and sensation.

"Education is a huge part of the cannabis business," he said.

Settling on Worcester took no time at all. His father graduated from College of the Holy Cross, his grandparents and aunt and uncle both lived in the city for more than a decade and his godson was born here.

"I've spent a lot of time in the city over the years," he said.

Good Chemistry will open at 11 a.m. Thursday. The facility will close at 5 p.m. for a grand opening celebration.

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