Atlantic City Boardwalk, dispensary

2/24/20 By DAN ULLOA

The ninth medical marijuana dispensary opened in New Jersey as “The Botanist” to the public on Saturday on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

This means they opened about a month ahead of MPX. They had hoped to prevent the opening of the iAnthus-owned MPX store named “Be” via legal means but failed.

The Botanist is run by the Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF). It is a satellite of their prime location in nearby Egg Harbor. That location charges $472 an ounce which said to be in the middle of the range for New Jersey dispensaries. (Ideally, competition between two dispensaries means they will have an incentive to lower their prices. Atlantic City will be the only municipality with two dispensaries, at least for now.)

Atlantic City leaders hope medical marijuana (or clinical cannabis) will be a source of economic growth for the beleaguered city.

“We’re also interested in adding to the excitement of revamping Atlantic City, and being a part of the economic growth of the city, and providing employment and economic opportunity,” said CCF Board Chairman Dave Knowlton. They had been planning an Atlantic City location as a second location for quite some time. It was initially supposed to open last June.

“It’s been a long trek to get this done,” said Knowlton. The Botanist’s official address is 1301 Boardwalk which was previously a restaurant. It’s near the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino along with the Steel Pier which features games and rides. 

The nine dispensaries in New Jersey are:

  1. Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair
  2. Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge
  3. Garden State Dispensary in Union Twp
  4. Breakwater ATC in Cranbury
  5. Curaleaf in Bellmawr
  6. Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus
  7. GTI’s Rise in Paterson
  8. CCF in Egg Harbor
  9. CCF in Atlantic City

The Egg Harbor location serves about 6,800 individuals or about ten percent of the state’s 69,560 medical marijuana patients.

For the first month, the Botanist will only have flower products for sale. This is unfortunate because many sickly patients benefit more from other items. However, the NJ Department of Health (DOH) has allowed them to sell oil in a syringe after about a month.

“This is another step forward in increasing access to medicinal marijuana for patients,” said DOH Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

Once New Jersey approves the adult-use cannabis legalization referendum in November (knock on wood), they will be able to sell adult-use cannabis as well due to a grandfathering clause.

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