If you grew up with a treehouse in your backyard, you may get that same feeling when you enter Dracut’s newest retail cannabis store. Of course, you probably didn’t take an elevator up to your backyard treehouse.
Tree House Cannabis opened in November, but Dracut’s Economic Development Department held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 4, the same day Tree House held an open house for the community to see what it has to offer.
Folks getting off the elevator at the 61 Silva Lane store enter a space that is as close to a wooded area as you can get inside a building located in an industrial zone. Tree House is located on the second floor of the Equipment East building, behind which is a wooded area that sets the mood.
Wes Ritchie and Ture Turnbull, owners of New England Craft Cultivators, which operates Tree House, hope that mood sets Tree House apart from the other two retail cannabis stores already operating in Dracut (with one more to come).
“I wanted to create a space where my mom would be comfortable,” Ture says.
Tree House Cannabis, or THC (which, conveniently, is the main active ingredient of cannabis), was three years in the works. Wes and Ture had another Dracut site in mind before scrapping that one and finding the Silva Lane space, which could allow for future expansion.
After finding the spot, they had to go through the state and town regulatory processes, which, at the time, were still works in progress.
“Even the town was figuring it out as it went,” Wes says. “Ture and I did every bit of work ourselves – the licensing and everything. There weren’t any fancy lawyers doing it for us. We learned as we went.”
Both have experience in the legislative realm – Wes as the chief of staff for former state Sen. Barbara L’Italien, whose district included Dracut, and Ture as legislative director for state Rep. Denise Garlick – which gave them a foundation for the work they would encounter in starting a cannabis company.
Both say Dracut officials and residents have been receptive of the work they’re doing.
“The town being open to us is a really important and magical thing,” Wes told a group of Dracut officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Most of the staff are Dracut residents, and most of them are LGBTQ+. So we are the gayest place in Dracut.”
Tree House had been open for three weeks before the grand opening, and Wes says they were able to “work out 40 percent of the kinks” in that time.
“But we’re feeling strong and good, and the response has been great,” he adds.
Both owners believe the fact that two other dispensaries opened in Dracut before Tree House is not a drawback, and that there is enough demand for all to be successful.
“The biggest thing for us is, we want you to come here and visit,” Wes says. “We want people to be comfortable here.”
“We’re open for all sorts of fun,” Ture adds. “We’d like to do different types of community events.”
New England Craft Cultivators plans to open a second location in Pepperell in 2022.
Visit shoptreehousema.com or call 978-971-0420.