Alex Mazin of Bud's Goods on Building Cannabis Brands Patiently

Plus, the company's innovative Watertown store and infused beverages as a segue to the market

Alex Mazin is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, who first became involved in the cannabis industry in 2014. In 2016, he founded Bud's Goods, which now has three retail stores in Worcester, Abington and Watertown. His mission is to build the first recognizable East Coast cannabis brand across the U.S.

Prior to the cannabis industry, Alex worked for nearly a decade in strategic management consulting in the life sciences industry for a top-tier consulting firm and Fortune 100 company. He is a graduate of Babson College with a bachelor of science in entrepreneurship and strategic management.

We spoke with Alex for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.

Alex, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Worcester, which is why our first Bud's location in this city is so special to me. Worcester has a lot of history and was a major part of my childhood. We decided to pay homage to the original Gold Star Diner, which occupied our dispensary space prior to our renovations; their original brass star still hangs on the building. I currently live outside Boston, central to our three dispensary locations.

Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.

I am co-founder and CEO of Bud's Goods & Provisions. My main office is located next door to our Worcester store.

A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.

I have a sporadic and spontaneous personality, so I use cannabis to help me stay calm and focused when I need to switch out of idea mode and into execution mode. Cannabis helps me organize my thoughts and put things into perspective. I attribute much of my success in life thus far to cannabis because it gives me purpose and a passion. I'm proud and grateful I get to live the American dream; it does still exist. Life is short, we have to be mindful and intentional with what we exchange our time for. I know what I want to do in life and what I want to spend my time working hard toward, and at Bud's we have fun creating history along the way.

A favorite flower, edible, product, or brand.

My favorite strain is Sour Banana Sherbet. My favorite brand is our Lil' Bud's flower line, for now ... we have many new and exciting things in the pipeline.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

Patience. The industry is trying to move so fast, but marketing and building a long-lasting brand takes time. Regulations are a big challenge, only further pushing the notion of organic marketing. We need to pace our marketing and advertising in a way that guides consumers without the use of modern-day marketing solutions like Google or Facebook ads.

One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.

It feels like the wild, wild west. You have to be really strategic about the partnerships you make and the reasons you make them, especially when it comes to lining up mutual visions and values. It's like a quest to find the right ones. That's what makes it fun and exciting for me.

A recent project you're proud of.

All that is Bud's Goods! I am so proud of this company and what we have collectively built together. More specifically, our Watertown dispensary really is a home run when it comes to a unique, immersive cannabis retail experience. I believe there's no store like it in the country.

Someone else's project you admired recently.

I admire the groups that have launched beverage companies into the cannabis industry. That's something I would have liked to have been more involved in earlier on in Massachusetts. There are more non-consumers than cannabis consumers, and infused beverages are a great segue into cannabis for that segment of the market.

Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.

Two companies that I think are doing great things are Theory Wellness and INSA. They're successfully setting up multi-state operations while continuing to run successful businesses in Massachusetts. They're great partners, and Bud's Goods genuinely enjoys working with them and their products.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.

I would answer that question differently now that I have been in this industry and given how much I've learned in this experience. Thanks to some projects I'm working on, I've learned robotics and automation really interests me. Outside of cannabis, I would be interested in pursuing real estate development and potentially law.

Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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