“We are extremely excited about opening our flagship store in New Jersey,” “Berner,” the co-founder and CEO of Cookies, said. “Our team has taken their time with attention to detail — not only with the build-out of the store, but also with the product, which has gotten more and more dialed-in from our work with our cultivation partners in Jersey. I’m blessed to be touring on the East Coast and have the chance to visit the store prior to opening. I can’t wait for our New Jersey community to experience our first Cookies store in New Jersey.”
The 5,000 square-foot dispensary, located at 200 NJ-17, features a spacious showroom and interactive “bud bar”, where shoppers can see and smell the product prior to purchase. Patients and consumers can order online or through the Apothecarium app to experience New Jersey’s first-ever dispensary drive-thru. The Apothecarium Lodi is located in one of the most populous regions of Northern New Jersey, 14 miles outside of Manhattan and adjacent to the iconic Satin Dolls “Bada Bing” Club, as featured on The Sopranos.
Preparing for day one of legal sales in New Jersey
D’Amelio: I think it’s gonna be dank, to be honest. We’re gonna have a ton of consumers that are coming out and trying our products, and everyone else’s products.
I think it’s gonna be extremely efficient for us. (We are) trying to get product out the door as fast as possible from the retail side of things. We never rush cultivation, but I think that it’s gonna be a real live market for us (on day one).
One of the most globally respected cannabis companies on the market, Cookies recently announced new licensing agreements with operator TerrAscend to bring its products to New Jersey. Established by rapper Berner and his cultivation partner Jai in 2008, Cookies offers a collection of over 150 proprietary cannabis varieties and product lines, everything from flower and vapes to CBD and medicinal mushrooms. The brand’s success in its native California has been explosive and revolutionary for the cannabis industry; now it’s time to take the East Coast by storm.
The shuttering of damaged retail stores is slowing or stopping altogether the flow of sales for producers and processors in some markets, which could lead to a stockpiling of product and falling wholesale cannabis prices.
“The whole supply chain has been disrupted and attacked,” said John Oram, CEO of Nug, a vertically integrated cannabis company with several locations in California.
“You can’t operate out of a lot of these smashed stores.”
Legal cannabis dispensary operators and industry members said they fear more targeted looting as well as attacks by professional criminals this week amid national civil unrest over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Several dozen dispensaries in California and two in Oregon were subject to a wide range of criminal acts over the weekend, including vandalism, ransacking, and targeted professional robberies. At least one cannabis producer and a licensed distributor in California also reported being robbed.
The rapper doesn’t condemn the people who broke into the store. Instead, he argues that human life is more valuable than any building.
“It’s extremely unfortunate what happened to our store tonight on Melrose. But as a human living in the world we’re living in today, I cannot expect anything less until justice is served,” Berner said in the video posted to his 1.3 million Instagram followers. “We can rebuild our store, but you cannot bring someone back to life.”
Boston-based AWH will rebrand the Greenleaf's dispensary in Montclair, and expand the cultivation space located in Franklin to roughly 55,000 square feet. The vertically integrated cannabis operator also received a letter of support for setting up a retail location in Rochelle Park in the vicinity of one of the state's biggest malls, Garden State Plaza.
New Jersey is the fifth state in which Ascend Wellness Holdings decided to expand its footprint, following Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
The problem, many critics say, is that equity programs suffer from the exact same failings as every other business effort in cannabis. In order to stand a chance of winning a permit—let alone founding a viable business—Black and brown businesspeople must still find well-capitalized partners. Almost always, this means finding white partners—rendering equity programs little more than a cynical example of tokenism at best.