All eyes may have turned to the Nov. 3 ballot question seeking to legalize marijuana for those over 21, but the state’s decade-old medical marijuana program continues to grow and evolve.
Curaleaf, the largest alternative treatment center in the state, quietly added another building to its Bellmawr campus this summer. Last week the company announced plans to open a second dispensary in Bordentown while continuing to whole sell product to other alternative treatment centers around the state.
The cannabis giant has 93 dispensaries in nearly two dozen states. Last week, the four-building South Jersey campus bustled with patients waiting in their cars, packing the parking lot and lining up along the roadside.
While typically busy, the scene was beyond the usual: The dispensary released a new strand each day from Monday to Thursday, said Bridgette Fonseca, the director of dispensary operations at Curaleaf NJ.
“You can see patients get excited when there’s new variety,” she said.
Curaleaf isn’t just the biggest dispensary in New Jersey. It’s also one of the largest multi-state operators in the country. The company closed two acquisitions totaling more than $1 billion in this year of Oregon-based Cura Partners and Illinois-based Grassroots Cannabis. That comes as other big players have taken a step back.
Nestled along a busy road and just steps from the busy Route 42 that connects South Jersey to Philadelphia, the four concrete buildings remain mysterious to most. Inside, a team of cultivators works seven days a week to keep some 60,000 plants alive, controlling a complex irrigation and lighting system and maintaining the proper humidity levels.
If the system malfunctions, it could seriously impact the grow.