The Opening of Garden State Dispensary
Posted by Max on Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 22nd was a very special and historic day for the patients of New Jersey. The Garden State Dispensary opened its doors to the public for the first time on Friday to the joy of the 10 patients scheduled for the opening. As I approached the entrance, the pungent smell of high grade cannabis pierced my nostrils. All that came to mind was, the third time’s a charm!
Here is a little background on Medical Marijuana in the Garden State. New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program is 3 years old and has been plagued with problems and bad news since the Compassionate Use of Marijuana Act was signed into law on Governor John Corzine’s last day in office. The Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair was the first Medical marijuana dispensary to open in the state of New Jersey on December 6th of 2012. Unfortunately at first they were plagued with supply issues. Currently Greenleaf is open 1 day a month, but has prices higher than the black market.
The Compassionate Care Foundation, Egg Harbor Dispensary opened in late October of 2013 and many patients had high expectations. This was in part due to the size of CCF compared to Greenleaf and as it was the 2nd dispensary, hopefully they learned from the history of the medical marijuana program. Patients had hope as they walked inside and purchased medicine cheaper than what Greenleaf charged. When these patients got home to medicate, many had serious concerns about the quality of the product. There have been reports from some patients that Department of Health and Human Services has since confiscated some of their product.
A few weeks later, on November 18th the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge appeared as a choice on the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program website. Garden State Dispensary announced it would start serving patients on December 4th 2013. Then on Thursday, November 21st, unexpectedly patients began receiving calls from the Garden State Dispensary asking if they would like to come in as early as Friday November 22nd. While they only have 2 kiosks open currently, they decided it was enough to start serving several patients. Garden State Dispensary served 10 patients on Friday’s “soft opening” and the patients I spoke with seemed pleased with the quality of the medicine. The patients ailments ranged from MS to Cancer and many had yet to see the inside of a dispensary until now. The dispensary is run by a team who run 8 dispensaries in Colorado and the staff were all extremely polite, knowledgeable and most of all professional. From my perspective this ATC seems to be the bright light of hope the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program and its patients desperately need.
Garden State Dispensary dispensed 3 strains on Friday, Green Crack, Sour Willy and Flow. These 3 strains tested between 21.99-29.2% THC. This high quality 100% organic medical marijuana is being grown pesticide free and will soon grow under environment friendly LED’s. It also costs a little over blackmarket prices at 500 dollars an ounce plus sales tax and is sold in quarter ounce increments up to an ounce per visit. Currently the Garden State Dispensary has an over 15000 square feet of grow space, to hopefully keep up with demand. Unfortunately the Garden State Dispensary does not have any high-CBD strains available yet, but they were just approved by the state to produce cannabis extracts for minors. Garden State Dispensary has said they still plan on giving sick children the high CBD edible medicine for free when the medicine is available next harvest.
The Garden State Dispensary is setting the bar extremely high for New Jersey and all other Medical Marijuana Dispensaries across the Country.