What to know about the edibles offered at the Boston area’s first recreational marijuana dispensary

Plus, the dispensary is releasing a cookbook on 4/20.

D-Line Bar from NETA
D-Line Bar from NETA. –NETA

On March 23, New England Treatment Access (NETA) opened a second branch in Brookline, becoming the first recreational marijuana dispensary to operate in the Boston area. Located in an old bank in Brookline Village, the dispensary, which opened its first location in Northampton in November 2018, sells a dizzying array of cannabis products: flowers, concentrates, vaporizers, infused lotions, and tinctures and oils. And, of course, there are edibles.

“On average, we sell about one edible per customer,” said Eddie Benjamin, NETA’s director of innovation.

There are two lines of edibles at NETA: Dose edibles, which are exclusively for medical patients, and D-Line edibles, which are primarily for recreational use, or adult-use, customers (with the exception of a few products, like the D-Line Cubes, that are only for medical use).

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If you’re a first-time customer visiting NETA, the selection can be overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know about NETA’s edible selection.

They don’t skimp on chocolate quality.

D-Line chocolate bars in coffee
D-Line chocolate bars in coffee. —NETA

Customers have a couple of chocolate options at NETA, including the D-Line Bar, a chocolate bar with 5 milligrams of cannabis per piece, and the D-Line Nuggets, chocolate caramels in bite-sized, 5-milligram nuggets. Both items use a proprietary Belgian blend that comes in at 53.8% dark chocolate.

“At NETA, with everything we want to create, we want to create [edibles] with a lot of intent — not just accurately dosed, but also delicious,” Benjamin said. “Our executive director is a bit of a chocolate snob, so when we talked about the fact that we wanted a chocolate bar, he said we’d have to sample chocolates from all over the world and find the best. We had a tough day of chocolate tasting.”

A handful of edibles at NETA come in THC (the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant), CBD (the nonpsychoactive compound), and combination options, so you can choose what kind of effect you’d like to to experience.

“Our one-to-one bar is pretty popular,” Benjamin said. “That combines an equal ratio of THC to CBD. It’s popular for a lot of patients and customers because they get [CBD’s] reported pain relief and [THC’s] psychoactive effects.”

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So, what about brownies? The dispensary’s Dose Brownies are only available for medical patients, and come in 50 milligrams and 100 milligrams selections, with the options of choosing from Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica strains. (It’s state law that an adult-use edible cannot contain more than 5 milligrams of cannabis per dose, and that a container or package can’t hold more than 20 servings.)

D-Line does not refer to the nearby Riverside Branch of the T. 

D-Line Nuggets from NETA
D-Line Nuggets from NETA. —NETA

The Brookline location sits a stone’s throw from the D Line’s Brookline Village stop, but that’s not what the edible line is referring to. The ‘D’ in D-Line stands for ‘distillate,’ referencing the fact that NETA’s D-Line edibles are made with distillate oil.

To create the oil, marijuana extract is run through a fractional distillation machine, which helps isolate THC and CBD molecules and makes a purer product. As a result, a minimal amount of oil is necessary to achieve the desired dose.

“You’re able to dose chocolate bars accurately with very little cannabis taste, which comes down to the purity of the oil you’re using,” Benjamin explained.

If you’re not a chocolate fan, you can try a chew.

D-Line Gems from NETA
D-Line Gems from NETA. —NETA

For the chocolate averse (who are you?), NETA takes a more fruit-forward approach with the D-Line Chews and Gems. The chews are, in fact, the dispensary’s most popular adult-use edible.

The idea for a chew came from NETA’s D-Line Cubes, a medical-use-only fruit cube that gained popularity for their ease and convenience (unlike chocolates, they don’t break or melt). But because they were too small, the company couldn’t imprint them with the required symbol for recreational edibles (a triangle surrounding a marijuana leaf, accompanied by “contains THC”). So instead, the D-Line Chews were made, a citrus-y gummy with enough surface area to include all of the proper insignia.

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The gems are more akin to lozenges, and come in both watermelon and strawberry flavors.

“We wanted to have an edible that dissolves in your mouth,” Benjamin said. “And they kick in a little faster.”

NETA is releasing a cookbook on 4/20.

The Elevation Oil cookbook
The “Elevations” cookbook. —NETA

Beginning on Saturday, NETA will be giving out its new cookbook, “Elevations,” that can be used in conjunction with its Elevation Oil, a cannabis-infused grape-seed oil.

After receiving requests for dairy-free and soy-free products, Benjamin said that the company decided to create a cooking oil that would allow customers and patients to make their own cannabis-infused dishes. As a starting point, NETA used grape-seed oil, a versatile oil without an overpowering taste.

“We came up with a cookbook that would help people get inspired,” said Benjamin, noting that the book contains recipes for bruschetta, guacamole bites, deviled eggs, and “hummus on cukes,” all of which produce four servings with 5 milligrams of cannabis per serving.

NETA’s edibles can be purchased at the dispensary or can be ordered ahead for pickup. All customers must be 21 or older.

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