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The legal cannabis industry’s pricing is somewhat inflated, with Statista reporting Illinois as the state with the priciest high-quality bud at $352.13 per ounce. But what if offering the option for affordable, high-quality buds became every dispensary operators’ mission?

This is something ‘Lil Buds’ in Worcester, Massachusetts hopes to accomplish.

Currently offered on Bud’s Goods and Provisions’ shelves, ‘Lil Bud’s’ is the brainchild of Alex Mazin.

Upon opening Bud’s, Mazin’s goal was to ensure quality cannabis is affordable for daily consumers. This idea led him to develop Lil Bud’s product: an eighth of high-quality bud for just $30. Compared to other dispensaries in Massachusetts, this is a bargain.

“I wanted to make legal cannabis affordable for anyone over the age of 21 and not just one time, but someone who is a consistent user and really, in many ways, it’s part of their lifestyle on a daily basis,” Mazin explained to Mass Live. “I wanted to make that customer feel like they could participate and purchase legally for the rest of their consumer behavioral timeline.”

Lil Bud’s is an exclusive partnership between Bud’s Goods and Revolutionary Clinics. Bud’s Goods is a retail shop selling products made by partners. Revolutionary Clinics has medical dispensaries located in Cambridge and Somerville, as well as a cultivation facility in Fitchburg.

Generally speaking, smaller cannabis buds are what dispensaries use to make their pre-rolls. This is because most consumers who buy an eighth prefer to see larger buds in their package, explained Tom Schneider, Revolutionary Clinics’ head of marketing. The new product offering uses smaller buds, allowing the shop to save on labor by packaging the small buds for retail.

Mazin claims he approached the affordability aspect of Lil Bud’s as a consumer rather than a business operator.

“I was like, ‘what would I want to see in a dispensary, whether it’s mine or not.’ And I would like to see a really good quality flower at a really affordable price that I could consume on a regular basis without feeling like I am spending my entire paycheck,” Mazin explained.

Usually, an eighth, or 3.5 grams of cannabis, goes for $50 to $55 in Massachusetts. Some shops have begun offering prices as low as $45, with 1 gram pre-rolls usually selling for $15 a piece.

“At the end of the day, we’re striving to make a legal market by diminishing the need and the dependence on an illicit market. And by doing that, the key driver there is price,” Mazin explained. “Even if you live in a legal state, if you buy illegally, you’re breaking the law. And so, I felt like there was almost a social inequality there in many ways that needed to be addressed. It really comes down to making legal cannabis affordable for all over the age of 21.”

Statista reported that the illicit market is still going strong throughout the U.S. However, from 2019 to 2024, the illicit cannabis market is expected to decrease by $2.3 billion. This could partially be due to people–like Mazin–working hard to make high-quality bud more affordable.

“At the end of the day, I believe that the more people who have access to affordable good quality cannabis, the better the world,” said Mazin.