Since April 21, 2022, the day cannabis was legalized in New Jersey, dispensaries have continued to dot the landscape.
Restore Dispensary, a medical marijuana merchant with six locations in Pennsylvania, opened their seventh in Glassboro on April 3.
Located at 300 William Dalton, Glassboro, NJ, Restore has plans to continue to grow in the South Jersey area, according to Outreach Coordinator Christian Bruno.
Restore Dispensary was the first dispensary to ever open in Philadelphia, back in 2018. They prefer staff members who are knowledgeable on the science and medicine of cannabis.
“It’s in a market where there’s recreational use, it can sometimes be a challenge also because there’s a different culture. People with a medical reason to come into the dispensary are often looking for something to treat symptoms, whereas to be fair, it’s much easier to say you’re looking to chill and watch a movie,” said Bruno.
Bruno’s job duties include stakeholder engagement, setting up meetings with organizers, scheduling staff events, and handling donations and sponsorships.
Staff are frequently running drills, mock sales, trivia questions about the product and different facts about what products help different illnesses.
“Someone with cancer, epilepsy, autism — these things require a more specific treatment and a more specific product. A lot of employees aren’t prepared for that. They think they’re coming into a space where they can just talk about blunts and weed and all this stuff, but we’re a more medically minded company, so sometimes you have to tone it back and be prepared for a more sterile and also a more professional atmosphere,” Bruno said.
The state also requires online classes to learn the industry, how the product is made and the system that it goes through to get to the patients. This includes working into the training and services to provide additional classes. Several Restore employees take classes while they’re employed.
Bruno stated that it was a challenge getting into a store in Glassboro. New Jersey’s regulations differ from township to township.
“It can be a lot of work. It can be a lot of money and resources to be able to essentially purchase a license. It’s really hard in the industry and I think this is a national thing. It’s hard to just do a startup from nothing because you’re competing with huge brands,” Bruno said.
There is a difference between the regulations for purchasing recreational and medical cannabis. Each state allows different amounts and products that can be purchased. Under New Jersey state law, one ounce of dried flower is allowed. Five grams of concentrates, resins and oils are allowed to be purchased. And only up to one gram of edible cannabis product can be purchased under New Jersey state law.
Even though cannabis is legal in New Jersey, it is federally classified as a schedule one drug. This puts cannabis in the same class as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. This can make it hard for businesses to get government assistance for cannabis. To combat that, dispensaries will offer discounts to alleviate some of the cost. Restore make sure that they know what is in the product they are providing their patients and makes sure it is safe to consume.
“That’s really the word of the day with growing is testing. Everything is constantly tested both for safety precautions and every component of the plant really goes into a patient’s decision and buying the product,” Bruno said.
Glassboro opened its mind to cannabis on Oct. 25, when the town council members passed an ordinance that had previously prohibited all classes of retail cannabis dispensaries within Glassboro.
“I think Glassboro is an interesting place. It’s a college town. I think there’s a lot of dispensaries in New Jersey that are not in South Jersey,” Bruno said. “There’s a market for a dispensary in Glassboro and since there wasn’t a dispensary there already, it just seemed like a good fit.”
The Jersey Joint Dispensary is the next dispensary that will be opening soon in Glassboro.