Featured Company of the Week: Northeast Alternatives

Catherine DeMuro/Dec 19, 2018

hero-graphic-Featured Company of the Week: Northeast Alternatives

Some of the most successful endeavors are spawned from matters of the heart. Founder and CEO Chris Harkins was inspired to create medical cannabis dispensary Northeast Alternatives (NEA) after the devastating loss of his mother to cancer and his father’s subsequent cancer diagnosis.


Harkins knew there had to be a better way to help his father.

“Chris became obsessed with finding a better option for his dad,” said NEA COO Kyle Bishop. “Not only for relief from the pain and discomfort of the difficult treatments, but also as an attack on the disease itself.”

Harkins immersed himself in research to better understand his father’s disease and potential alternative treatments. It was then that he discovered the power of cannabis.

“He had heard about the potential benefits of medical marijuana and further research seemed to substantiate the claim,” said Bishop. “Cannabis was changing people’s lives time and time again.”

While his father was initially reluctant to try cannabis, eventually the evidence – and his desire for relief – led him to try medical marijuana. He experienced near-immediate relief, and Harkins was convinced.

He dedicated himself to building a business committed to bringing the highest quality cannabis products to the patients of Massachusetts and beyond.

By late 2016, Northeast Alternatives was born.

cannabis plant cultivation work


Harkins built the foundations of the NEA team with his cousin Rich Rosier, future COO Kyle Bishop, and Zac Cooper.

Bishop and Cooper had over 30 years of combined operations experience in medical cannabis and had many testimonials on the healing power of the plant.

“Together, we all share a deep passion and purpose for the bigger cause of NEA,” said Bishop.


“Now, as we open our doors to our first dispensary in Fall River, MA, we believe our passion and purpose is exactly what makes us unique,” said Bishop. “We’ve seen it firsthand: As a vertically integrated company, our entire team has decades of cannabis experience.”

Northeast Alternatives specializes in medicinal cannabis needs, offering a selection of flower, edibles, and concentrates to patients.

The team describes itself as a fun, highly experienced and fast-paced group of passionate individuals. According to Bishop, they all love cannabis and working in the cannabis industry. Their mission is to help people by using the healing powers of cannabis.

“We truly believe in the life-changing benefits of cannabis and we are committed to producing 100% compliant, safe cannabis flower, concentrates, edibles and topicals of the highest quality available anywhere in the world.”

NEA is rapidly growing with plans to expand their footprint to two more stores and multiple new grows and labs throughout the region. Their goal is to enter the adult-use marketing in late December or early January with a full offering of flower, edibles, tinctures, and concentrates.

![cannabis plant multiple] (https://assets.vangst.com/cms-images/cannabis-plant-multiple.jpeg)


NEA’s core values are quality, commitment, innovation, integrity, safety, and community. Their name was chosen by CEO Harkins to showcase their intention to serve the Northeast region and provide alternatives to conventional western medicine.

“We wake up every day to live and work by these principles and truly hope our patients will feel this in their experiences with our team.”

As a company, NEA strives to provide a fair work-life balance. They encourage employee engagement and look within the company to provide advancement opportunities for team members.


If the passionate and quality-oriented culture of Northeast Alternatives sounds like a good fit, they are hiring through Vangst!

NEA is hiring a Dispensary General ManagerHR Generalist, and Assistant Store Manager through Vangst! All of these positions are based in Massachusetts. For more information, contact us.

The company will be hiring more General Managers and Assistant Managers as they grow and open additional locations.

![northeast alternatives logo] (https://assets.vangst.com/cms-images/northeast-alternatives-logo.png)


NEA seeks motivated, hardworking, punctual and passionate individuals to join their team. They look for people who truly wish to make a difference and enjoy going to work each day.

The interview process typically includes a screening phone call, then one or two in-person interviews.

“We are fun, fair, and hardworking people who truly believe in the power of cannabis,” said Bishop. “We love what we do and have been doing it a very long time – come grow professionally with us.

“We are fueled by the story of our founder, our appreciation for cannabis, and the power of your stories. We can’t wait to help you achieve a better quality of life.”

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