The first medical marijuana dispensary in the state, formerly Greenleaf Compassion Center, has reopened as Ascend, which is owned by multi-state cannabis operator Ascend Wellness Holdings.
Ascend officials said the redesigned dispensary has an expanded line of cannabis products and will be open for longer hours on more days of the week.
"The feedback from the original owner is that the product line was always lean; patients couldn't always get what they wanted," said CEO and founder Abner Kurtain.
Greenleaf Compassion Center was founded by Julio Valentin, who sold the facility to Ascend last year. He will continue to operate Greenleaf Café next door.
A second medical marijuana dispensary could join Ascend on Bloomfield Avenue by year's end. Colorado-based Lightshade Labs has an application pending with the state Health Department; approval has been delayed by COVID and lawsuits by operators whose applications were denied, say Lightshade officials.
Lightshade's local team includes Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend and cannabis advocate Bob Marley. Rohan Marley raised five children in South Orange with Grammy winner Lauryn Hill.