More cannabis dispensaries have opened across New Jersey, with Nightjar in Bloomfield along with High Street and Hackettstown Dispensary in Hackettstown.
Heady NJ has profiled about 70 dispensaries. The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) says there are 80 adult use cannabs dispensaries operating.
New Jersey medical cannabis dispensaries have converted to adult use cannabis sales as well at a steady pace.
There also now seems to be at least two adult use New Jersey cannabis dispensaries opening every week!
Some have a soft opening to welcome customers without announcing it widely. It allows them to address issues like computer bugs in the system, which are common on the first day of operating a New Jersey cannabis dispensary.
Others like to launch with the bang of a Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting with oversized scissors, local politicians, partners, supporters, and sometimes a non-profit they have pledged to support.
Nightjar Cannabis Dispensary Opens in Bloomfield
Nightjar dispensary held a Grand Opening ribbon-cutting ceremony in Bloomfield in Essex County last Friday.
“We’re so excited to celebrate this day with you all,” Nightjar dispensary CEO Amanda Rositano said at the Grand Opening ceremony. She thanked the team for their help.
“You are the magic that will make this place what it is,” Rositano added.
“Taking cannabis out of the shadows and into its prominent place in our community is what inspired us to open Nightjar,” said Francesca DeRogatis, Chief Operating Officer of Nightjar.
“Not many people get to say they sell weed with their dad. It’s the highlight of my professional life,” she joked.
“Cannabis is medicine for many, a way to unwind, get creative, a tool to make life a little more vibrant, and everything in between,” DeRogatis added.
While the three main founders are three women, she also thanked two men named Dan and Adam, whom she called partners.
Many Speakers at Ribbon Cutting
Matha Figaro of ButACake, the 1st exclusively adult use cannabis Black female and underground legacy to legal edibles manufacturer, was on hand to help them celebrate.
“There is no power like girl power,” she declared.
Figaro said Rositano and DeRogatis have been mentors.
“Every time you support Nightjar, just remember that you’re also supporting a small little girl like me and her dream. Congratulations!” she exclaimed to applause.
“You’re an inspiration to all of us,” Rositano told her.
ButACake ginger strips are for sale at Nightjar. Figaro was their ceremonial first customer.
Nightjar was also selling Bango Elyon cannabis flower, a New Jersey-licensed California-based cannabis cultivator, available.
Bloomfield Councilwoman Jenny Mundell explained she met AR while serving on the Planning Board.
“I knew then… that this was the well-organized and professional team, and we needed it in Bloomfield,” she noted. “I am so excited we have this woman-owned business here!”
Bloomfield Center Alliance Executive Director Ollyn Lettman welcomed them to the downtown neighborhood.
“We’re getting to celebrate the opening of a new business. Already you’ve been a wonderful part of this community. You’ve been supporting our events and activities,” he explained.
“This was a long-vacant storefront. Now we have an exciting, vibrant woman-owned business here,” Lettman added.
Opening a New Jersey Cannabis Dispensary
“This is not an easy business to bring to life,” Rositano noted.
Nightjar dispensary had one of the best ambiance/environments of a New Jersey cannabis dispensary Heady NJ has seen so far. It was colorful with a disco ball, a rug, and many decorations like a jar of hemp flower behind the counter. The others in the running for the best ambiance/environments are also women-owned but smaller as micro dispensaries, Baked By the River and Elevated by CannaBoss Lady.
This has been a three-year labor of love, Rositano told Heady NJ.
Nightjar said in a press release they’re focused on supporting independent, minority women, and veteran-owned businesses.
According to them, “New Jersey’s budding cannabis industry is still largely dominated by “big cannabis” corporations. Nightjar will help diversify cannabis ownership in the state and bring a social equity-driven approach that will translate into increased community investment and the prioritizing diversity of staff and leadership.”
Rositano said they want to work with the new, smaller brands cropping up.
Significantly, they signed the medical cannabis home grow endorsement letter advocating that it no longer be a felony in New Jersey.
“We believe everyone has the right to grow their own plant,” Rositano declared. “It’s a social equity issue. You should be able to grow your own cannabis and have access.”
They call themselves women-owned and independent. However, they are not majority New Jersey-owned.
But DeRogatis is from nearby West Orange and holds a senior leadership position.
Rositano explained she is originally from Upstate New York and went to college in Massachusetts. She worked for the NETA dispensary in Massachusetts, which is where she met her partners.
The name came from the subtropical nightjar bird. Their partner from Puerto Rico, the majority owner Rosana Diaz, who lives in Colorado, thought of it.
“Sounds like something you would put your cannabis in,” AR joked. “It was time for maybe a little twist on the standard cannabis names out there.”
Interestingly, a smoke shop on the corner called Exotic Snack Smoke sells Delta-8 hemp that gets you high with California legal labels similar to those seen at pop-up New Jersey underground legacy markets.
They are down Bloomfield Avenue from GTI Rise in Bloomfield and Ascend Dispensary in Montclair the other way. However, Ascend Montclair is closing the location of the first-ever New Jersey cannabis dispensary, which they bought and moving it to Morris County.
High Street Dispensary in Hackettstown Opens
The owner is Craig Cohen, according to a local news radio source.
“We are committed to providing our customers with exceptional products and unparalleled customer service and insights into the benefits and uses of legal cannabis. Join us at High Street Dispensary, where quality, community, and cannabis culture unite,” he told them.
According to a document filed with the Security and Exchange Commission, he is the owner along with Daniel Weinstein. Both live in town.
There will only be two dispensaries in Hackettstown, which was the local government’s desire. They were among the towns that adopted a pro-cannabis legalization implementation law allowing dispensaries early in the process.
Hackettstown Dispensary Opens
The Hackettstown Dispensary also recently opened in Hackettstown.
The NJ-CRC’s conditional award letter went to Shah Darpan of Hackettstown in 2022. They approved their annual adult use New Jersey cannabis dispensary license last February.
The two Hackettstown dispensaries have maintained a minimal online presence and secured little fanfare thus far.