By: Brian Genest – April, 2022
Don’t be fooled by the company name.
At Lazy River Products in Dracut, there’s a strong current of ongoing activity, focused on both the growth of quality cannabis and the blooming business. From retail sales and cultivation to R&D and wholesaling, things are on fire at the company headquarters on Broadway Road.
Founded by three friends who met in elementary school – William Cassotis, Kevin Platt and Mark Leal – Lazy River came afloat in March 2020. More than $15 million has been invested in the purchase of the property and construction of a two-story, 40,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility that includes a retail showroom, cultivation plant, laboratory and kitchen.
To get into the facility, retail customers must show their ID at a security checkpoint and get buzzed into the showroom. They must show their ID a second time before making any purchases. The showroom is protected by security personnel, multiple cameras and other stringent safeguards.
“Security is a big focus for the town, the state and for us, too,” Cassotis, president & CEO, told me in the busy retail showroom at the beginning of a guided tour on a recent Friday afternoon.
Products in the showroom are displayed in an Apple Store type of approach, grouped together by type in modern, matching, glass-top tables. Detailed information about each product is provided.
The clientele and the products available for sale may surprise you. It’s not just younger adults consuming cannabis products; customers cover all backgrounds and age ranges, from 21 to senior citizens.
With the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and adult recreational use, the negative stoner stigma – being lazy and paranoid with a case of the munchies – has mostly gone up in smoke.
Today, adults of all ages are using cannabis products – flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, lotions, even bath salts – to be more creative, sleep better, relieve pain and take advantage of other benefits.
Retail sales are only the tip of the iceberg.
As a cultivator of craft cannabis, the focus at Lazy River is on quality, innovation and attention to detail from seed to sale. The cultivation plant has been carefully designed to provide the proper environmental conditions throughout the growing process.
The growth process for each strain begins with 100 seeds. The 50 male seeds are discarded, and the 50 female seeds are germinated. The plant with the most indicative qualities of the 50 becomes the mother. In the mother room, clippings are taken from the mother plants and are rooted in seed trays. Once the plants reach 8 inches, they’re transplanted into individual pots and are moved through a series of rooms for growing, harvesting, drying, curing, trimming, cleaning up, finishing, storing and packaging.
Right now, 65 full-time employees work at Lazy River. Thanks to the expanding production of cannabis and edibles, as well as wholesaling efforts, another 35 employees are expected to be brought on board this year in the lab, kitchen and other departments.
As part of its agreement with the town, Lazy River is committed to hiring local residents for 50% of the company’s jobs. In addition, Dracut gets 3% of all gross revenue, paid to the town quarterly.
From June to October, Lazy River holds an outdoor monthly Riverfest event featuring live music, beer and wine sales, food trucks and various vendors.
Get information about online and in-store shopping, job opportunities and more HERE
— Brian Genest is the producer and host of Eye on Dracut, a monthly news magazine show about town happenings that airs on DATV Channel 8 and online at DracutTV.org. ◊