“Right now the state of New Jersey is allowing 10 patients inside the facility. Everyone will be 6 feet apart. There are markers on the floor so people know where to stand. And our staff is well-prepared to handle the influx of patients,” said Verano Holdings Retail Executive Vice President Anthony Dindia.
Dindia says ZenLeaf’s operated by Verana Holdings with dispensaries in seven states. It’s taken two years for the company to get proper permits and finally open in Elizabeth.
“It has not been as smooth as we’d like it to be, and that’s on all sides. That’s for the Department of Health, the inspectors are working hard, day and night, to provide a good business for the patients in New Jersey,” he said.
It’s been a slow process getting dispensaries up and running. Another one opens next week in Vineland, but three others licensed in 2018 still need to get permits.
The state will need many more dispensaries as Gov. Phil Murphy pushes to expand the booming medical marijuana program to as many as 200,000 patients. Meanwhile, patients want home delivery options. The administration says they’re working with dispensaries.
“They need delivery vehicles. They need personnel specifically for that. On our side, we need the regulatory capacity to ensure that, number one, we’re tracking those transactions,” said Jeff Brown, assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health. “But I feel like we’re close and I’m hoping we’ll have good news on that soon.”