NORTHAMPTON — Balagan Cannabis, a boutique, adult-use cannabis dispensary located at 235 Main St. in downtown Northampton, officially opens on Saturday, Oct. 16. Balagan, uniquely positioned as the only retailer on Main Street, is committed to small-batch, locally crafted cannabis. The shop soft-opens today, Oct. 14. Saturday’s grand opening will include a ribbon cutting at 9:45 a.m.
Balagan Cannabis is owned by a team of four partners, including native Northamptonite Rachael Workman, daughter of Danny Workman, the former long-time owner of Jake’s. Her partners are veteran cannabis retailer Adi Nagli, New York-based financier Itamar Alpert, and Gil Sasson, who has been running operations next door at Cafe Balagan, the dispensary’s sister outfit, which opened six months ago.
The name Balagan (pronounced bah-lah-gone) is a Hebrew slang term translating loosely to ‘a beautiful chaos’ and pays tribute to the partnership’s strong Israeli roots.
“I grew up downtown, eating two meals a day up at the counter at Jake’s,” Workman said. “When it came time to settle on a location for Balagan, it just felt right to put our money on Main Street. It was counterintuitive in many respects, particularly during a pandemic. Most folks were choosing to set up shop right off the highway, but we wanted to be part of downtown’s resurgence and create a really intentional retail experience to service a local customer.”
In the three years since Mayor David Narkewicz signed Balagan’s host agreement, the team took on a hefty gut renovation of the former Sam’s Pizza space and relocated two of the partners’ families to the area (one from as far away as Israel). The last year has been dedicated to designing a signature retail space with the help of interiors expert Sarah Zashin-Jacobson. Sweitzer Construction provided design-build general contracting services.
“We didn’t take the menu-building process lightly; we traversed the state in search of Massachusetts’ best cannabis,” said Nagli, who also owns a boutique medical dispensary in Maine. “We put together an exceptional and interesting slate of products that customers can’t find elsewhere. And as a mom-and-pop operation ourselves, we dedicated a lot of shelf space to small, independent growers and labs.”
Balagan Cannabis is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pre-order is available at www.balagancannabis.com or via phone at (413) 727-8361.