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Natural Apothecary in Belleville & Gynsyng Dispensary in Merchantville Open

Natural Apothecary dispensary opened in Belleville in North Jersey, and Gynsyng dispensary opened in Merchantville in South Jersey.

They’re the 96th and 97th New Jersey adult-use cannabis dispensaries noted by Heady NJ.

Natural Apothecary Dispensary Opens in Belleville

The Natural Apothecary dispensary recently held a soft opening in Belleville in Essex County, north of Newark. It’s the first one in town.

They had a little party with snacks and mocktails on a Friday night for the opening.

Since it was a soft opening, they were working on the minor technical difficulties of most new dispensaries.

It was a spacious place with some nice plant decorations. General Manager Rita De Almeida noted they handmade many decorations like cherry blossoms since they are by Branch Brook Park in Newark, known for its cherry blossom festival.

“It’s very homey,” she said.

Like many they had several discounts going on their featured products at their opening.

Natural Apothecary featured the independent New Jersey cannabis vapes manufacturer Lily Extracts along with some corporate Multi-State Operator (MSO) brands like all New Jersey cannabis dispensaries so far. Some of the MSO brands are more popular than others.

They also had White labeled products of companies that made deals with the MSOs to get into the market. The White labeled brands vary in quality. Some bring their own seeds and formulas to create unique products. By White Labeling, they largely avoid the difficulty of getting approved and are not locally owned.

Packages on shelves don’t always have the special NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) labels identifying where a product was grown or made to indicate the nature of its origin.

“We’re really big on … independent manufacturers, bringing in a lot of flower from Prolific, Garden Greens. We’re trying,” De Almeida noted.

She noted they had many accessories too.

“We want to be a one-stop shop. We don’t want you to go home and be like f*** where’s my papers,” De Almeida explained.

Natural Apothecary has some of its own clothing merchandise and branded accessories.

Setting Themselves Apart from the Crowd

“We visited so many shops. We saw the right and the wrong,” De Almeida explained. “I’m big on the education with cannabis. Asking questions and getting the wrong answers that’s a big no-no for me.”

They’re hoping to get consumers from some of the nearby MSOs. They could also attract the customers of the former Harmony Dispensary of Secaucus since it remains closed.

“People are always going to go and chase the deals,” she noted.

A few other towns nearby also opted out of allowing dispensaries so it could help them.

Natural Apothecary wants to begin delivering to consumers soon.

Legal cannabis delivery has been talked about for years, and it has taken a long time to have legal deliveries.

“We’re going to have an app coming soon,” De Almeida noted.

Leadership Team Background

They have been trying to get a license for about 3 years. De Almeida has been visiting other dispensaries to prepare.

Unlike some dispensaries, she said they want to emphasize customer service.

“This is our baby. It took us so long to get here. We’re going to do it right,” De Almeida explained.

She is a Portuguese immigrant who came to Newark and the United States as a child.

“I’ve always been into the plant,” De Almeida noted.

Previously, she was a consultant as the Jersey Plant Babe, where she advised patients and consumers on the nuances of cannabis consumption.

Diverse Team

De Almeida said they had a diverse team.

“We’re the face of this bad boy. This is our baby,” Co-General Manager Natalia Garcia explained.

She is a Hispanic immigrant herself. Notably, Garcia can help Spanish-speaking customers in their native language who might not feel comfortable with cannabis in general or English-speaking-only dispensaries.

“We really have a nice team that has great backgrounds. We all have different connections to the plant,” De Almeida noted.

Shed said they’re majority women-owned at 84 percent with her, Garcia and an Indian American woman named Krupa Patel.

Their NJCRC award letter was sent to an attorney named Stephen Scipione.

“Some people are from retail. Some are from cannabis too. We see the good and the bad in the industry, and we’re trying to stick to the good. We’re big on employee culture,” De Almeida explained.

She said they wanted their budtenders to feel appreciated.

“We’re big on training them,” De Almeida added.

Natural Apothecary is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce with Gerald Feissner listed as their Public Relations and Outreach Director. TAPinto West Orange reported that he led their effort to open in town there. Feissner said their leadership team started in the Pennsylvania and Oregon cannabis programs first. He worked for a company called Standard Farms in outreach. Standard Farms is a medical cannabis cultivator in Pennsylvania and Ohio owned by the MSO Tilt Holdings.

Big Plans

“This is the real American Dream,” she declared about opening a dispensary.

The NJCRC awarded them a conversion to the annual license needed to open last July. They got their conditional in September 2022.

In the future, Natural Apothecary wants more locations and its own edible lines in the future that would be distillate-based.

They want to train the staff to take over for them first.

“We want to be able to give more to our community,” De Almeida said.

Gynsyng Dispensary Opens in Merchantville in Camden County

Gynsyng Dispensary opened in downtown Merchantville at 14 South Centre St. in Camden County near Cherry Hill in South Jersey recently. Being in a downtown area should give them a good amount of foot traffic.

They are also the first dispensary in their town.

It’s among the dispensaries angling to be close to Philly and Pennsylvania, where adult-use cannabis has not been legalized. Camden County with 12 has one of the highest dispensary counts per county.

County government itself is not very involved in New Jersey cannabis policy. Companies only need town and state approval to open unless they’re on a county road.

The location was formerly a pharmacy. It’s perfect, given the many therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

The name is a reference to the ginseng root, which is supposed to have a calming effect.

Dispensary Leadership Includes Former MSO Owner

Gynsyng is a sort of mom-and-pop dispensary owned by Tom and Jana Murzenski. Tom is a tech consultant and army veteran, while Jana is a photographer from Germany.

According to NJ Pen, Tom Murzenski said they want to work with new, independent growers who are launching slowly due to high costs.

“It shouldn’t feel sterile, like just a transaction. We want this to feel like you are at home here,” Jana said about their location.

The NJCRC sent their award letter to her in Washington, NJ. They call themselves women-owned.

However, one of their partners is Keith Morgan. He was the CEO of AAMCO mechanic garage chain from 1992 to 2006. Morgan is also the co-founder of the MSO Holistic Industries which has licenses in six states along with six locations in Pennsylvania.

He’s not the only Pennsylvania medical cannabis operator who wants a piece of Jersey.

Michael Gorman, a principal at Metro Commercial Real Estate, is the fourth owner. He is from Haddonfield in Camden County.

The Adult-use New Jersey Weed Dispensaries List

The list that follows is an approximate reflection of who opened when and partially alphabetically.

  1. Ascend 395 BLOOMFIELD AVE MONTCLAIR Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  2. Ascend 174 ROUTE 17 NORTH ROCHELLE PARK -Rochelle-Park  Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  3. Ascend 461-469 WEST STATE STREET FORT LEE Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  4. Ayr Wellness (formerly Garden State Dispensary) 950 US 1 NORTH WOODBRIDGE Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  5. Ayr Wellness 59 MAIN ST EATONTOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  6. Ayr Wellness 2536 RT 22 UNION Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  7. Apothecarium Dispensary 55 SOUTH MAIN ST. PHILLIPSBURG Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  8. Apothecarium Dispensary 1865 SPRINGFIELD AVENUE MAPLEWOOD  Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  9. Apothecarium Dispensary200 NJ-17 LODI Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  10. BLOC 1075 EASTON AVE SOMERSET Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  11. BLOC 501 US-9 WARETOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  12. BLOC 1761 NORTH OLDEN AVENUE EWING Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  13. The Botanist 100 CENTURY DRIVE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  14. The Botanist 2090 N BLACKHORSE PIKE WILLIAMSTOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  15. RISE 196 3RD AVENUE #3-C PATERSON Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  16. RISE 26-48 BLOOMFIELD AVE BLOOMFIELD Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  17. The Cannabist 1062 NORTH DELSEA DRIVE VINELAND Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  18. The Cannabist 1692 CLEMENTS BRIDGE RD DEPTFORD Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  19. Curaleaf 191 RTE 130 BORDENTOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  20. Curaleaf 640 CREEK ROAD BELLMAWR Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  21. Curaleaf 4237 US-130 South EDGEWATER PARK Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  22. Zen Leaf 117 SPRING STREET ELIZABETH Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  23. Zen Leaf 3256 BRUNSWICK PIKE LAWRENCE TWP. Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  24. Zen Leaf 2100 ROUTE 66 NEPTUNE Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  25. MPX NJ 153 S. NEW YORK AVENUE ATLANTIC CITY Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  26. MPX NJ 5035 CENTRAL HWY PENNSAUKEN / Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  27. MPX NJ 581 BERLIN-CROSS KEYS ROAD SICKLERVILLE Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  28. Valley Wellness 407 US-202 RARITAN Medicinal and Recreational
  29. Aunt Mary’s Dispensary  100 REAVILLE AVE. SUITE 211 FLEMINGTON Medicinal and Recreational
  30. NJ Leaf 546 PARK AVENUE FREEHOLD Medicinal and Recreational
  31. downtown FLWR 141 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY Medicinal and Recreational
  32. RIPT 220 BROADWAY JERSEY CITY Medicinal and Recreational
  33. Daylite Cannabis 1136 ROUTE 73 MOUNT LAUREL / Recreational cannabis only
  34. Design 710 112 PARK PLACE ATLANTIC CITY Medicinal and Recreational
  35. Eastern Green 78 ROUTE 73 VOORHEES / Medicinal and Recreational
  36. Brute’s Roots 6206 BLACK HORSE PIKE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP Medicinal and Recreational
  37. Garden State Botanicals 1345 US-1 NORTH BRUNSWICK Medicinal and Recreational
  38. Garfield Gardens Dispensary (formerly Yuma Way) 517 RIVER DRIVE GARFIELD Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  39. URB’N Dispensary 378 SOUTH ST NEWARK Medicinal and Recreational
  40. Holistic Solutions LLC 451 WHITE HORSE PIKE ATCO Medicinal and Recreational
  41. HoneyGrove 1337 BLACKWOOD-CLEMENTON ROAD GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP Medicinal and Recreational
  42. Sweet Spot 903 WHITE HORSE ROAD, SUITE 2 VOORHEES Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  43. Earth & Ivy 355 GEORGE STREET NEW BRUNSWICK Recreational cannabis only
  44. Nova Farms 642 MANTUA AVENUE WOODBURY Recreational cannabis only MSO
  45. Social Leaf, The 334 ATLANTIC CITY BOULEVARD SOUTH TOMS RIVER Recreational cannabis only
  46. Union Chill 204 N UNION ST, #108 LAMBERTVILLE Recreational cannabis only
  47. Cookies Harrison 331 ANGELO CIFELLI DRIVE HARRISON Recreational cannabis only MSO
  48. Leaf Haus 900 EASTON AVENUE, SUITE 18 SOMERSET Recreational cannabis only
  49. New Era Dispensary 80-88 MAIN STREET SOUTH BOUND BROOK / Recreational cannabis only
  50. Puffin Store 382 GEORGE STREET NEW BRUNSWICK Recreational cannabis only
  51. Queen City Remedies 1353 SOUTH AVE PLAINFIELD Recreational cannabis only
  52. Molly Ann Farms 256 BELMONT AVENUE HALEDON / Recreational cannabis only
  53. A21 Wellness 2507 US HIGHWAY 22 SCOTCH PLAINS Recreational cannabis only
  54. Elevated by TheCannaBossLady 9 HIGHLAND PLACE MAPLEWOOD Recreational cannabis only
  55. Garden Greenz 190 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only
  56. The Cannabis Place 1544 JOHN F. KENNEDY BOULEVARD JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only MSO
  57. Camden Apothecary 1205 HADDON AVENUE CAMDEN Recreational cannabis only
  58. 1634 Funk 394 COMMUNIPAW AVENUE JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only
  59. Baked by the River 8 CHURCH STREET LAMBERTVILLE Recreational cannabis only
  60. Cloud Nine Dispensary 513-27 ROUTE 22 NORTH PLAINFIELD Recreational cannabis only
  61. Anja 225 WOODBRIDGE AVENUE HIGHLAND PARK Recreational cannabis only
  62. Mountain View Farmacy 74 OAK RIDGE ROAD WEST MILFORD Recreational cannabis only
  63. Indigo 302 CRESCENT BOULEVARD BROOKLAWN Recreational cannabis only
  64. Organic Farms 2895 MOUNT EPHRAIM AVENUE CAMDEN Recreational cannabis only
  65. Unity Rd. Cannabis Shop 441 ELIZABETH AVE SOMERSET Recreational cannabis only MSO
  66. Evolve Cannabis 186 US-130 BORDENTOWN Recreational cannabis only
  67. Kind Kush 279 US-46 ROCKAWAY Recreational cannabis only
  68. Elevated Herb 1846 ROUTE 23 WEST MILFORD Recreational cannabis only
  69. High Street Dispensary 811 HIGH STREET HACKETTSTOWN Recreational cannabis only
  70. Highway 90 90 OLD MARLTON PIKE WEST EVESHAM Recreational cannabis only
  71. Med Leaf 201 PHILADELPHIA AVENUE EGG HARBOR CITY Recreational cannabis only
  72. Noire Dispensary 171 MAPLEWOOD AVE MAPLEWOOD Recreational cannabis only
  73. Phasal 1100 N BLACK HORSE PIKE RUNNEMEDE Recreational cannabis only MSO
  74. Phula 60-62 HIGH STREET MOUNT HOLLY Recreational cannabis only
  75. Pure Blossom 2554 PENNINGTON ROAD PENNINGTON Recreational cannabis only
  76. Nightjar 549 BLOOMFIELD AVENUE BLOOMFIELD Recreational cannabis only
  77. Hackettstown Dispensary 321 MOUNTAIN AVENUE HACKETTSTOWN Recreational cannabis only
  78. Hello High 7685 BLACK HORSE PIKE HAMMONTON Recreational cannabis only
  79. Royal M 102A E FRONT ST PLAINFIELD Recreational cannabis only
  80. Shore House Canna 124 SUNSET BLVD WEST CAPE MAY Recreational cannabis only
  81. Hashery 409 NJ-17 HACKENSACK Recreational cannabis only
  82. Soulflora 2713 NJ ROUTE 23, SUITE 5A NEWFOUNDLAND Recreational cannabis only
  83. Terrapin Investment Fund “The Station” 86 RIVER ST. HOBOKEN Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  84. Fire and Oak 5 WASHINGTON STREET MOUNT HOLLY Recreational cannabis only
  85. Joy Leaf 711 EAST 1ST AVENUE ROSELLE Recreational cannabis only
  86. The Leaf Joint  391 CENTRAL AVE, GROUND FLOOR JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only
  87. Voltaire NJ 47 MILL STREET MOUNT HOLLY Recreational cannabis only
  88. Dank Poet Dispensary 245 E WASHINGTON AVE WASHINGTON Recreational cannabis only
  89. Cannabis Clubhouse 70-72 E MAIN STREET SUSSEX Recreational cannabis only
  90. Blue Oak Dispensary 1025 Broad St, BLOOMFIELD, NJ 07003 Recreational cannabis only
  91. Plantabis 2077 US-1, Rahway, NJ 07065 Recreational cannabis only
  92. High Profile LAKEHURST Recreational cannabis only 145 NJ-70, Lakehurst, NJ 08733
  93. Township Green 15 Scott St Riverside NJ Recreational cannabis only
  94. Golden Door Dispensary 638 Newkirk Jersey City Recreational cannabis only
  95. Jersey Roots West Milford Recreational cannabis only
  96. Natural Apothecary 27 Washington Ave Belleville Recreational cannabis only
  97. Gynsyng Dispensary 14 S Center St Merchantville Recreational cannabis only

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