6/2/20 By DAN ULLOA
Zen Leaf opened their first New Jersey dispensary in Elizabeth this past weekend with little fanfare due to COVID-19, and the BLM George Floyd protests, most likely.
The traditional “Grand Opening” of a store with public officials cutting a ribbon with oversized scissors in a carnival atmosphere thus was not possible.
Zen Leaf is the brand of Verano Holdings, a Multi-State Operator (MSO) operating dispensaries in six states and Puerto Rico.
“This isn’t how we’d envisioned our grand opening, but we’ve adapted, and our primary concern is providing attentive patient care while keeping our team and community out of harm’s way as best we can. For now, that means observing social distancing but making ourselves available to support patients in any way we can,” Verano CEO George Archos said.
They are already seeing patients in their dispensary. The Zen Leaf menu of available strains (or cultivars) is available online. Some of their products are from Curaleaf and Harmony dispensaries respectively. Zen Leaf is currently vending flower, lozenges, creams, vape cartridges, and topical creams.
Curaleaf has also been supplying Rise in Paterson as they opened before their first crop was ready to be harvested as well. This is a not uncommon practice since it is illegal for the company to bring their products from another state to sell in New Jersey due to federal prohibition. Thus, if they are especially eager to open their doors, they will do so with another company’s products.
“Our mission is to help guide patients along their path to wellness and elevated quality of life. That pursuit feels ever more important in times like these,” said Archos.
The Zen Leaf dispensary is located at 117 Spring Street in Elizabeth.
There are now eight companies operating at 10 locations in New Jersey:
- Verano in Elizabeth
- Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair
- The Botanist (Compassionate Care Foundation) of Egg Harbor
- The Botanist in Atlantic City
- Garden State Dispensary (GSD) of Woodbridge
- GSD in Union Township
- Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury
- Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr
- Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus
- (GTI) Rise in Paterson
There are now about 77,000 patients in the clinical cannabis or medical marijuana program in New Jersey.
Elizabeth is the fourth largest city in New Jersey after Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson.
Zen Leaf Brand from Verano Holdings
True to their name, Zen Leaf seems very interested in Zen Buddhism judging by their website.
Verano Holdings is in the process of setting up another Zen Leaf dispensary in Ewing.
Their website says it “believes cannabis is the most important medicinal plant on earth, supporting human health, wellness and happiness.”