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1st New Jersey Exclusively Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries Earth & Ivy, Nova Farms Open

The first two New Jersey adult-use recreational-only cannabis dispensaries Earth and Ivy and Nova Farms have opened.

Both claim to be the very first. They are the 29th and 30th New Jersey adult-use cannabis dispensaries open. That includes the medical cannabis dispensaries allowed to open last year and the 2019/2021 medical cannabis license dispensaries that have been popping up.

Both were annual licenses that did not need to go through the conditional licensing process of being approved by the NJCRC twice.

“It is a milestone for the agency and for the market,” said New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) Executive Director Jeff Brown. “Over the last two years, we have grown the number of ATCs open to patients and overseen several of them to expand into recreational cannabis. Now retailers are opening exclusively to serve adult-use customers.”

The NJCRC has approved 98 annual awards. That includes 51 New Jersey adult-use retailers that will eventually join Earth & Ivy and Nova Farms as recreational-only dispensaries. They will likely beat the almost 1,000 New Jersey conditional cannabis licenses issued by the NCJRC.

Earth & Ivy Open in New Brunswick

Earth & Ivy opened in New Brunswick on George Street, the main downtown thorofare. Their “Grand Opening” with a ribbon cutting is tomorrow. It’s the first legal New Jersey cannabis dispensary to open in the city that also contains the main campus of Rutgers University.

 The NJCRC awarded them an annual NJ cannabis license in January.

With Sasha Stephens, a Black woman, they can say they are Black and Women owned. Her Public Relations agent called her “the youngest dispensary owner in the country.” The other owners are Anthony Lotti and David Ryslik.

They all went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. While there, they played Division I football and soccer.

According to their publicist Earth & Ivy’s goal is to “change the perception of everything within the cannabis industry, specifically bridging the gap between professionalism and cannabis culture.” 

They “aim to use their experience mixing cannabis and sports recovery to help elevate the conversation around cannabis while providing high-quality products.”

Like many upcoming New Jersey recreational cannabis dispensaries, they have made deals with the existing cannabis companies whose products are said by most New Jersey cannabis consumers to be mediocre and overpriced

It’s unclear how three young people are funding this when money is such a problem in New Jersey cannabis. They may have (Financial Source Agreement) or Management Service Agreement (MSA) which shows who’s pulling the strings.

They will soon have stiff competition from the New Jersey recreational cannabis dispensary Puffin opening nearby. It is minority and locally owned. They have been working hard to promote themselves.

Nova Farms Open in South Jersey 

Recently Nova Farms opened in Woodbury, a designated Impact Zone, which means it was a town hurt by the War on Drugs. 

Nova Farms is a cannabis corporation that is a Multi-State Operator (MSO) that is vertically integrated with dispensaries in Massachusetts and Maine, and cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, Maine, as well as Rhode Island.

They like being exclusively based in the Northeast.

New Jersey’s Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries 

The following is a list of the New Jersey recreational cannabis dispensaries currently open:

  1. Earth & Ivy in New Brunswick
  2. Nova Farms (an MSO) in Woodbury
  3. Holistic Solutions LLC in Atco
  4. Valley Wellness LLC in Raritan Twp.
  5. Sweet Spot (an MSO) in Voorhees
  6. Apothecarium Dispensary (an MSO) in Lodi
  7. Apothecarium Dispensary in Maplewood
  8. Apothecarium Dispensary  in  Phillipsburg
  9. Ascend (an MSO) in Montclair
  10.  Ascend (an MSO) in Rochelle Park
  11.  Ascend in Fort Lee
  12.  BLOC (formerly Justice Grown) (an MSO) in Somerset 
  13.  BLOC (formerly Justice Grown) in Ewing
  14.  The Botanist (an MSO)  in Williamstown
  15.  The Botanist  in Egg Harbor Township 
  16.  The Cannabist (an MSO) in Vineland
  17.  The Cannabist in Deptford
  18.  Curaleaf  (an MSO) in Bordentown Twp.
  19.  Curaleaf in Bellmawr 
  20.  Curaleaf in Edgewater Park 
  21.  Garden State Dispensary (Ayr Wellness)  (an MSO) in Woodbridge
  22.  Garden State Dispensary (Ayr Wellness) in Eatontown
  23.  Garden State Dispensary (Ayr Wellness)  in Union Township.
  24.  Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus
  25.  MPX NJ (an MSO) in Atlantic City
  26.  Rise (an MSO) in Bloomfield
  27.  Rise in Paterson
  28.  Zen Leaf (an MSO) in Neptune
  29.  Zen Leaf in Elizabeth 
  30. Zen Leaf in Lawrence Twp.

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