Cartridge Manufacturer Lily Extracts NJ Market, Independent Grower Hamilton Farms

The first independent cannabis cartridge manufacturer, Lily Extracts, debuted in the market, and independent New Jersey cannabis cultivator or grower Hamilton Farms planted the first exclusively adult use crop.

New Jersey cannabis manufacturing and cultivation are dominated by Mult-State Operator MSO) cannabis corporations that mostly grow middling, mediocre cannabis which they sell for far too much money. The cannabis vape cartridges vary widely in quality.

These companies benefit immensely from the over-regulated medical cannabis market designed by the administration of former Republican Governor Chris Christie. Behind many of the brands on dispensary shelves are the same few cultivators utilizing large-scale agricultural techniques.

Cannabis Cartridge Manufacturer Lily Extracts Hits NJ Market

The first independent New Jersey cannabis cartridge manufacturer, Lily Extracts, debuted in the adult use market recently.

Lily Extracts products debuted at the Molly Ann Farms dispensary and the Nova Farms dispensary. They also have a deal with Yuma Way Dispensary, which converted to adult use cannabis sales recently.

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) approved them making cartridges first. They took 4 months to approve our SKUs, according to Lily Extracts CEO Richard Giglio. Every product scanned via barcode needs a SKU.

“We’ve been producing since August, September,” he noted.

“It’s been nothing short of an uphill battle,” Giglio declared. “We’re the David and Goliath story. We’re a two-man operation.”

Carts were only the first product Lily Extracts approved. They plan to sell dab concentrates, gummies, and pre-rolls in a month or two.

Cruz said they passed on using cannabis grown by a couple of MSOs that had sub-par standards.

“When we wanted fresh frozen, nobody had it. Columbia Care was open to it. I bought a freezer and drove it down myself,” Giglio said.

“Big MSOs lose the quality in the drying and curing. We don’t need them to dry and cure and lose anything that would be good. We just need them to grow it right,” AC said.

AC added they’re open to working with other cultivators.

They are a micro-business capped at 10 employees.

The Lily Extract products are already getting reviewed on Reddit.

Local Company Lily Extracts Operating

The NJ-CRC approved their full or annual New Jersey cannabis manufacturer license in June. They are based in Garfield in Bergen County, according to their NJ-CRC license. Giglio won a conditional license last May for Lily Extracts.

According to the Garfield Zoning Board, Giglio lives in North Haledon in Passaic County. He sought to assure them the building would not emit the distinct smell of cannabis. They were given strict conditions as part of their approval.

The sweet aroma of good weed to the faithful heads is a sickening order to anti-cannabis normies.

Giglio explained that he initially launched a motorcycle parts manufacturing company called Sin Sig, making him a serial entrepreneur.

“I made parts in my basement. Now we have a facility in Mexico,” he said.

He added he worked in finance as well before launching Lily Extracts.  

Solventless Live Rosin Cannabis Cartridges

Giglio’s partner Angel Cruz is the Director of Operations of Lily Extracts. He is a veteran of California and Colorado cannabis markets. Cruz has been in cannabis since 2001 as a grower.

Cruz explained most legal New Jersey cartridges are made utilizing chemicals for extraction. So, you get pure THC oil. But you strip out the flavor and cannabinoids.

Rosin is true to the plant.

“When you hit our product, it’s like taking a rip off that plant. You’re getting the true flavor,” Giglio said. “The flavor you’re getting, the high you’re getting, is true to what that plant offers.”

“As soon as it’s cut from the plant, it’s thrown into a freezer. We process from that state,” he added.

Most New Jersey cannabis cartridges are made using distillates. The vape pens burn them very hot. When the oil is burned at such a high temperature, it causes the smoke inhaled to be harsher.

Cruz explained cannabis flavor often gets stripped away in the extraction process due to solvents and extreme temperatures.

“Our live rosin is best consumed at a lower voltage. We want you to get everything that’s true to that plant,” he declared.

The independent cannabis edibles manufacturer ButACake also recently launched in the New Jersey cannabis market through a deal with Columbia Care.

Independent NJ Cannabis Grower Hamilton Farms Plants Crop

Hamilton Farms recently announced that it has completed construction of its growing operations. They called it a “state-of-the-art craft cannabis cultivation facility.” Hamilton Farms began construction last year. They recently received regulatory approval from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission to begin growing immediately.

Hamilton Farms said they expect their first harvest to arrive on New Jersey cannabis dispensary shelves around next April, near the end of the first fiscal quarter (Q1) of 2024.

No other New Jersey adult use cannabis cultivator has claimed to be so close to the finish line. Many have privately told Heady NJ they expect to harvest their first crop by next June.

They are based in Millville in Cumberland County.

The company would like to be the first New Jersey craft cannabis cultivator dedicated to growing high-quality cannabis. The official definition of craft cannabis can vary. However, those in the cannabis industry and community usually define it as a smaller farmer paying more attention to quality than quantity when growing cannabis.

“We’re meticulous in everything that we do, and we believe that’s a large part of why we have come so far,” said Hamilton Farms CEO Rahul Patel.

“Whether you’re looking to tune in and focus or tune out and relax, we have what you’re looking for,” argued Hamilton Farms Chief Operating Officer Kunal Lodaya.

Only two New Jersey cannabis cultivators have opened from the epic 29-month 2019-2021 medical cannabis license round: Hillview and Brute’s Roots. Only Brute’s Roots has converted to adult use New Jersey cannabis sales.

There is a very strong demand in the Garden State for high-quality, truly local legal cannabis products.

Locally Owned New Jersey Cannabis Cultivator

“We’re 100% New Jersey owned. Just two families that have been living in NJ for decades (one from Camden County and the other from Middlesex County), coming together on this project,” they explained in a message to Heady NJ.

“We’ve fought hard not to have a huge group of investors because we ultimately don’t want to be accountable to anyone but our customers. It has been really hard to make it work, and it has required extraordinary sacrifice and investment on our part,” a Hamilton Farms representative added.

They say they’re focused on the painstaking care of every plant they nurture.

“We hand-prune, hand-trim, and carefully cure each plant to preserve its unique terpene profile and deliver a truly exceptional experience,” Hamilton Farms explained in a press release.

“We are proud to be a part of this flourishing industry and look forward to partnering with dispensaries that share our enthusiasm for the Garden State,” they declared.

“Every plant we cultivate is a symbol of our love for the Garden State and the people who call it home. For us, it’s not just about a great harvest. It’s about serving the community that has given us so much, appreciating each other, and being a good neighbor,” Hamilton Farms explained in their press release.

They won their initial conditional license from the NJ-CRC last March. HF converted to the annual New Jersey cannabis cultivator license necessary to open and plant a legal crop last October.

They won a New Jersey cannabis grant created with COVID money, which imposed a strict window on who was eligible for it.

Many New Jersey cannabis consumers have been eagerly awaiting the debut of independent cannabis cultivators.

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Dan Ulloa
Dan Ulloa is the Editor and Publisher of Heady NJ, with a background in politics, journalism, and a passion for the cannabis community. He curates and publishes news, events, and insights on the industry. Dan has been a leading voice in the New Jersey cannabis scene, educating and informing the public about this rapidly evolving industry. He ranked #35 on the INSIDER NJ Cannabis Power List out of 100 in 2022.