As N.J. cannabis industry slowly expands, one company is already blooming – NJ.com

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Gridlock in Trenton may have pushed adult-use cannabis legislation from the floor of the Legislature to the ballot box in November, but the expansion of the medical program continues with one medical dispensary at the forefront — Curaleaf NJ.

Curaleaf NJ, whose parent company, Curaleaf, has a foothold in 14 states, is the current market leader in the Garden State as it has consistently cultivated the most medical cannabis in the state — 2,300 pounds of medical cannabis in 2017, more than $11 million in sales that year and $19 million in sales in 2018. And now, it’s expanding into the realm of wholesale.

The company currently has wholesale agreements with three other Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs): Rise Dispensaries in Paterson (owned by Green Thumb Industries NJ), Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge and Union Township, and Harmony in Secaucus, said Aaron Smith, of Marino PR and Strategic Communications, whose clients include Curaleaf. A fourth partnership is expected to begin next month, he said.

“This is something I’ve been trying to encourage more dispensaries to do because this is something that we see in more mature markets,” Jeff Brown, assistant commissioner of the Department of Health’s Medicinal Marijuana Program, told NJ Cannabis Insider. “When you go into a CVS, you have options for different products and brands. So if you go into one dispensary in New Jersey, you should be able to have a wide array of options from other ATCs (Alternative Treatment Centers).”

Curaleaf’s expansion in New Jersey kicked off in 2018 when it acquired Compassionate Sciences, rebranding it as Curaleaf NJ, and began planning the construction of a 100,000-square-foot, indoor growing facility on a remediated landfill near an intersection of interstates 295 and 76.

“We have nine sales stations designed to process 1,000 patients a day (at the Bellmawr dispensary),” said George Schidlovsky, vice president of finance and capital projects for Curaleaf. “We can do 100 new patient consultations a day and we’re designed to provide the largest access to the most affordable products and designed for future expansion.”

Last year, the now shelved adult-use bill would have mandated a fourth licensing classification for wholesale, but now it’s in limbo until the ballot referendum in November. Still, Brown says the current regulatory framework is more than adequate to address wholesale arrangements between ATCs.

“There are lots of regs that apply to wholesale arrangements, from inventory requirements to record-keeping to labeling and transportation,” Brown said.

A version of this story first appeared in NJ Cannabis Insider.

Justin Zaremba is content lead and an assistant editor for NJ Cannabis Insider. Find him on Twitter at @JustinZarembaNJ.

NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly subscriber-based newsletter produced by NJ Advance Media, which also publishes NJ.com, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated papers.

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