Elev8 Cannabis dispensary on Main Street set to open in March

  • Founder and CEO of Elev8 Cannabis, 24-year-old Seun Adedeji, right, stands outside the future dispensary site with Elev8’s CFO Seke Ballard, at 243 Main St., Athol. Sarah Robertson

Staff Writer
Published: 12/13/2018 4:59:58 PM

ATHOL — Athol’s first medical and recreational marijuana dispensary, Elev8 Cannabis, is slated to open its doors this March. It will replace the former Mobil gas station at 243 Main St. across from the post office, and sell everything from edibles, to oils, tinctures, smoking devices and marijuana of a variety of strains.

“Our goal is to help other people who are disproportionately impacted to get into the cannabis industry,” said 24-year-old Seun Adedeji said. “Give them the resources, the capital and the knowledge of how to get into it.”

At age 23, Adedeji became the youngest black dispensary owner in Oregon and has since expanded his franchise to Massachusetts. His company has four commercial marijuana facilities in operation and upcoming in Massachusetts and Oregon, including one other dispensary pending in Orange.

They hope to hire locally to fill 25 to 30 full and part-time positions at the Athol dispensary. Construction began in June and today construction crews are still gutting the building, a former gas station and car wash left vacant for nearly 20 years. Adedeji says the company plans to invest about half a million dollars on the building and store furnishings.

“Anything we can do to elevate Athol, we’re more than happy to do it,” Adedeji said.

In the first two weeks of sales in Northampton and Leicester, over $7 million worth of legal recreational marijuana and marijuana products were sold. Adedeji said Athol has been very welcoming of the marijuana industry, which is valued at $7 billion annually and growing, NPR reports.

“We want to change the narrative of the cannabis industry,” Adedeji said, describing the negative stereotypes associated with marijuana industry. Marketing a healthy, active lifestyle through the Elev8 brand is his attempt to combat the harmful idea of a lazy, unlawful cannabis user.

Elev8 Cannabis casts itself as “the original marijuana lifestyle brand”, with an active Instagram and online presence. The company’s mission statement is to “treat everyone like gold,” and Adedeji will often end phone calls with the phrase “stay elevated.”

“We just need more positivity in the world,” said Seke Ballard, the Elev8 chief financial officer and Harvard graduate.

According to the project application, all town departments have signed off on the project, finding no health, zoning or safety hazards with the new shop. Elev8 was the first dispensary in town to receive a special permit on June 28.

About 500 square feet of the 1,800 square foot building will be dedicated to retail space where they will sell medical and recreational marijuana, edibles, tinctures, smoking paraphernalia, vape cartridges and more.

“We’re going to have a lot of things to pick from,” Adedeji said.

While they already have a supplier lined up, Adedeji said they would be open to selling products from the Mass Grow LLC facility soon to be built inside the former LP Athol Corporation building.

“We’d do business with anybody if the price is right,” Adedeji said.

Another recreational marijuana cultivation and processing company, 1620 Labs LLC, has received a special permit from the town to renovate the former Agway building on Exchange Street, too.

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@atholdailynews.com.

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