Garden Greenz, Noire Dispensary, and Shore House Canna all recently opened for a total of 58 New Jersey adult use dispensaries doing business.
The pace of licensed New Jersey adult use dispensaries opening has accelerated so quickly this year that there will probably be an opening a week for the next three years.
Garden Greenz Opens in Jersey City
The Garden Greenz Dispensary opened on the downtown Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza in Jersey City last night on Halloween.
The opening was very well attended, with a few people in costume. A long line of people was waiting to come in while Batman DJed.
Owner Brian Markey was raised in Greenville and has moved to East Hannover in Morris County. According to his Cannabis Control Board testimony, he delivered the Jersey Journal as a kid. Markey is the sole owner and half Puerto Rican Hispanic. He was dressed as Willy Wonka for the occasion.
The site was formerly his pawn shop and is now a dispensary micro-business.
“It’s insane right now to finally open the door. The last five days have felt like five years. We feel really excited to get people in and be part of this community. Cannabis is a really new thing in Jersey City, and we want to be one of the pinnacle places,” Markey explained.
“This has the opportunity to be something really special of a location,” he added.
Markey noted they are largely carrying the products of Multi-State Operators (MSO) for now.
“We’re really waiting for the micro grows to come about to really involve smaller growers and feature their products, he added.
“A big part of what we’re doing here is showcasing these guys from Jersey making really, really great products,” Markey said.
He expected many more growers’ products on the shelves by January or February.
Creating Jobs Through New Jersey Adult Use Dispensaries
Jersey City Diversity and Inclusion Director Dr. Floyd Jeter was there to celebrate the opening. He explained that they hired people from the job fair he facilitated.
“I am a big supporter of this because a lot of people who were marginalized in the Black and Brown communities can actually get a chance now to actually be viable now to also change their social status,” he explained. “That opportunity works out when they’re passionate about it. You’re going to get better workers. You get somebody who believes it and likes it.”
“At a marijuana dispensary, that’s the ideal job for many people. And we’re giving them that opportunity, especially Jersey City residents,” Jeter added. “You’ve seen how it goes in other municipalities. No one else is doing that.”
He noted that at least ten New Jersey adult use dispensaries will be opening in Jersey City next year.
“That’s 100 Jersey City residents that get opportunities … second chances, reentry for all those workers who were crucified actually get an opportunity,” Jeter declared.
He said of the 10 people hired for Garden Greenz, 7 or 8 are locals who got the job through the career fair.
Jersey City Cannabis Support
David Jefferson of Leaf Joint dispensary was also there to support his fellow New Jersey adult use dispensaries owner. Leaf Joint will be the first dispensary to open in the Heights on Central Avenue, where many New Jersey adult use dispensaries have been approved.
He held a meet and greet with City Council President Joyce Watterman last week. With his CBD and cigar shop, he has tabled at a few Hudson County Democratic events.
Jeter noted Osbert Orduna’s The Cannabis Place is opening next week. Leaf Joint wants to open on Black Friday.
The Jersey City Council approved their resolution to open last October.
Garden Greenz was one of the first Jersey City cannabis dispensaries to get final approval from the Cannabis Control Board to open.
Location and Distance Issues
Given their prime location, they have been vocal about the city’s 600-foot distance rule from other dispensaries. Jersey City found it hard to enforce since different interpretations regarding when a location should be defended exist. Some Jersey City officials also voiced concerns that they could protect the territory of a dispensary that might not open.
They have been very vocal throughout the failed Jersey City cannabis law amending process.
A lawsuit is likely necessary to resolve the distance question on the Jersey City map of dispensaries, which Osbert Orduna of the Cannabis Place has already launched. Markey was reviewing launching a lawsuit as well.
Garden Greenz has supported New Jersey adult use dispensaries elsewhere in the city, like Benedict’s Supply.
The downtown association was supportive of them on Instagram.
(Full disclosure Garden Greenz is a Heady NJ Patreon supporter.)
Noire Dispensary Opens in Maplewood
Noire Dispensary held a Grand Opening ribbon-cutting ceremony in Maplewood for adult use sales on Saturday. It’s the first Black-owned dispensary in North Jersey.
Co-owner and husband Giovanni Paul gave a shout-out to all those who had helped them at the ceremony.
Thank you all for coming out,” he said.
Co-owner and wife Sharquana Paul thanked the crowd and Maplewood as well. She noted it had been a long process.
They held an outdoor Block Party where everyone was welcome to eat, listen to the DJ’s spin, sign up for giveaways, and receive product discounts. Noire Dispensary had also planned games, face painting, cotton candy, popcorn, and temporary tattoo artists.
“This business is a labor of love to us,” said Sharquana.
Serial Entrepreneurs Succeeding
“My wife and I are 100% owners of the Zebulon 51 Denville location. The home office is based in Georgia, and every other store is independently owned,” Giovanni said.
The husband-and-wife team said they “understand the importance of prioritizing customer satisfaction, offering safe and innovative products, providing ongoing education, and giving back to the local Maplewood Township.”
Noiré received their adult use dispensary annual license this past summer from the NJ-CRC.
Noire said they are self-funded. Giovanni is the man behind the scenes. He called himself a seasoned and highly experienced entrepreneur who has successfully birthed multiple businesses with his wife over the years.
“No matter how many no’s you get, keep knocking until you get your yes. We are standing here as living proof that you can do it. Leverage your resources, whether big or small, surround yourself with like-minded positive people, and don’t be afraid to fail,” Giovanni said.
Sharquana worked for nonprofits helping victims of the at-risk population, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, homeless prevention, and welfare reform.
Giovanni, a first-generation Haitian-American, and Sharquana, an African American, were born and raised in Brooklyn. They live in Morris County now.
Both owners have family members consuming the flower to help with issues from glaucoma to lung cancer to mood swing symptoms.
Before marijuana was legalized, a Brooklyn local would have to seek and find the secret “Black Door.” The black door would belong to a street dealer.
“We named our dispensary Noiré, which means “Black.” We decided to take the old concept of “knocking on the black door” and turn it into a symbol of safety, trained knowledge, and no judgments,” said Sharquana.
They say their philosophy is reflected in their “Wellness Associates” or budtenders. They’re supposed to welcome all customers with a friendly neighborhood smile and gratitude for the opportunity not to sell you something but to give you something.
The journey getting here has been a long one but well worth it.
Noiré’s owners have made it a top priority to pay it forward in mentorships, community support, and volunteering,
Shore House Canna Opens 1st Cape May Dispensary
Shore House Canna was the first dispensary in Cape May County to hold a Grand Opening on Saturday.
West Cape Mayor Carol Sabo served as Master of Ceremonies to cut the ribbon.
(Photo above courtesy of Shore House Canna.)
Ricky Williams, a college football star who got in trouble for smoking weed and has been seeking to enter the New Jersey cannabis industry, made it a fun time by signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.
There was also food and live music.
SHC had a soft opening in September to iron the kinks.
It’s New Jersey’s southernmost dispensary at Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway.
The Parkway exit numbers are based on their mile markers, which start at 0 in Cape May County.
SHC says on its website it’s veteran and women-owned. The main owners are Tom Nuscis and Nicole Melchiorre. She lives in Cape May, according to her LinkedIn profile.
According to their West Cape May city resolution granting approval to open last May, Nuscis has been a small business owner for 30 years, served in the U.S. Navy, and is a disabled veteran. A radio station reported he owns Pappy’s Pig Roast in Marmora in Upper Township in Cape May County.
The Jersey Shore largely consists of small towns unhappy with their image as centers of drunken debauchery. So, there will not be many in the area. Atlantic City is the biggest exception, with a few others in Ocean and Monmouth County.
But in some towns, there will be intense compeition for the consumers searching something like dispensary near me in Somerset.