There’s something new behind the fortress-like brick walls of the former Phillipsburg National Bank & Trust: marijuana strains with names like Grandpa’s Stash, Zour Apples and Candy Store.
The Apothecarium, New Jersey’s 13th medical marijuana dispensary, opened its doors on Main Street by appointment only last week. As of Monday, they’ll take walk-in patients, too.
The dispensary is the first in New Jersey operated by TerrAscend, a Canadian cannabis giant that also operates dispensaries in California, Pennsylvania and Utah. TerrAscend opened its marijuana greenhouse in Boonton Township earlier this year and has plans for two other dispensaries in North Jersey, the locations of which have yet to be disclosed.
From the outside, the sandy-colored brick and historic details appear classic and unassuming. But inside, a modern and sleek shopping experience awaits. In addition to dried flower, The Apothecarium plans to sell vapor products, oils, pre-rolled joints, capsules, tinctures, topicals and smoking devices.
Many of the dispensary’s 15 employees gathered there Monday for a grand opening absent the usual fanfare, aside from a ribbon and pair of oversized scissors. (TerrAscend scaled back its opening plans due to safety concerns around spreading the coronavirus, although the dispensary is an essential business permitted to operate amid pandemic restrictions with safety measures).
“I think it’s been more challenging than opening a regular store,” said Chantelle Elsner, senior vice president of TerrAscend’s northeast retail operations. “It’s still a really exciting time to open. There’s lots of interest in the community.”
She said patients have already driven a half hour or longer to visit the dispensary. It marks the first in the western part of the state. The nearest competitor