Potency is located at 1450 East St. in Pittsfield, next to Berkshire Hydroponics.

These days, the Pittsfield cannabis scene is feeling a lot more crowded than it did when legalization rolled out in 2019. With the competition growing thick, new dispensaries have to find their own unique ways to stand out.

Potency, which opened its doors at 1450 East St. in May, is the latest dispensary to launch in Pittsfield — and most likely the last, at least for a while. As a newcomer in a well-saturated market, the shop needed to find ways to differentiate itself from other businesses in the area.

Co-founders Chris Abbenda, Tim Mack and Owen Martinetti started with the fundamentals: excellent products.

All of Potency’s offerings are carefully selected to bring customers the best options across a range of product types and price points. It’s such a vital part of Potency’s strategy, it’s even in the company motto: ‘Curating Cannabis For Your Enjoyment.’

“We’re not going to ever have, like 400-plus products,” Abbenda said. “We’re trying to curate our selection by really trying to find out what are the best products in each category, and essentially collect feedback from our customers about what they want to see, as opposed to being like the Costco or the Walmart of cannabis.”

A significant portion of the products available at Potency originated just around the corner at Mass Yield Cultivation, a craft cultivation operation on Commercial Street. “We are like a craft brewery in the city of Pittsfield, in the sense that the products that we’re supplying are grown within a minute’s walk down the street,” Martinetti said.

Potency partnered with Mass Yield on some of its own house brand products, which are consistent best sellers. With the Potency line, the team focused on standing out with unique, appealing packaging that is both beautiful and functional.

“We spent a lot of energy and effort designing aesthetically pleasing packaging,” Abbenda said. As an example, he pointed to the store’s pre-rolls, which are available in special five packs that come complete with their own lighter — a convenient all-in-one.


Produced in collaboration with nearby Mass Yield Cultivation, Potency’s house line is notable for its sleek, functional design. “We spent a lot of energy and effort designing aesthetically pleasing packaging,” said co-founder Chris Abbenda.

The design focus is reflected in the store’s interior, which features a ‘live wall’ covered in over 240 plants. “It’s really a differentiated store design that you just simply won’t get anywhere else,” Abbenda said.

Potency may be the new shop in town, but its co-founders have a long history in the cannabis industry. Abbenda and Martinetti have previous experience operating cannabis businesses in New York state, including creating the best-selling THC sleep gummy Snoozy. Mack, who also owns Berkshire Hydroponics next door, is a respected cultivation expert and has provided equipment to hobbyist and commercial growers alike for years.

The trio have harnessed that knowledge to make cannabis more accessible to new users. “We’re not trying to push away the non-cannabis connoisseur,” Abbenda said. “You don’t have to be an expert. You shouldn’t be nervous or uncomfortable to come in and speak to someone.”

The marijuana industry’s love of colorful strain names, for instance, can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Rather than using memorable but potentially confusing monikers like ‘Snow Monkey,’ the Potency staff classifies products by their intended use, making it easier for less experienced customers to find exactly what they’re looking for.

“What we’re trying to do is break them up into categories of intended uses or intended feelings,” Abbenda said. “If you’re coming in for sleep issues, we’ll push you to the sleep category. If you’re looking for something that’s more what you want to take at a party, or while you’re reading or trying to study, we have all these different feelings that we’re trying to target with what these products could do and how they can make you feel.”

The team also hopes to take advantage of the space available to them to host teaching events, aimed at bringing more people into the cannabis community. “We want to do a lot of education events, because we have the space,” Abbenda said. “We could have classes where we’re educating people on different aspects of cannabis. There’s so much content that you can cover, and we’d love to be involved as a place where people not only can get quality products, but also learn about the plant.”

potency interior.jpeg

Potency’s brightly lit interior combines industrial touches like exposed brickwork with a striking ‘living wall,’ made up of over 240 live plants.

Ultimately, the goal is to make Potency a one-of-a-kind destination that brings in visitors with products and services they can’t find anywhere else on the densely settled cannabis market, especially as neighboring states legalize recreational marijuana. “Just like people’s experiences with breweries, you’ll go out of your way for a place that you like that has something that someone else doesn’t,” Martinetti explained. “That’s kind of what we’re doing, from day one.”

Please Consume Responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.

This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of Edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222- 1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.

Related Posts