Of the six businesses awarded new Alternative Treatment Centers by the Department of Health, Justice Grown is the least well known.
“We are the – I’m not going to say mom-and-pop – but we are the smaller guy playing in a very, very big market,” Justice Grown NJ CEO Jamil Taylor tells NJ Cannabis Media. “We were founded by social justice attorneys that believe that cannabis is a social justice issue. We feel diversity and inclusion are a very, very big piece of our business and our branding. Hence the term Justice Grown.”
That’s not to say Justice Grown, which will be located in Ewing Township, is an unknown entity. New Jersey is the fifth state it will operate in. It has vertically integrated licenses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and a cultivation license in Illinois.
In the six weeks since the announcement was made, Justice Grown has begun the process of building its operation in a 75,000 square foot space in Ewing.
“We had a great meeting with the Department of Health, just to make an introductions to our team and to the program,” Taylor says. “We are looking to finalize our lease very soon for the property and we are currently in architect design mode right now.”
Expect the facility – especially the dispensary to have the look and feel of Justice Grown’s operation in Edwardsville, Pa., a blue-collar town of about 5,000 residents. The storefront was featured in a recent issue of Marijuana Venture.
“I think will we try to create the feel for the brand that appeals to the neighborhood that were in. Ewing and Trenton are very blue collar, very hard working,” Taylor says.
Justice Grown decided on Ewing because of the reception it received from Mayor Bert Steinmann as well as town and community officials.
“We only like to operate in places that accept us. We don’t want have any negative energy – if they don’t want us there, we won’t be there. But Mayor Steinmann was very accepting of our plan,” Taylor says.
That was one key to the successful application. Another, Taylor says, was the way Justice Grown approached the process.
“We put together a very good team when it comes to understanding how to write these applications,” Taylor says. “Our backgrounds are in social justice and that’s kind of the founding principle. And so we write these ourselves. We don’t hire consultants. We like to say the words really come off the page from our own experiences and not from a consultant who coaches you through this process. I think organically, we did everything right.”
In addition to adding 30,000 square feet of canopy once the facility is fully operational, Justice Grown wants to address the concerns of the growing patient population in New Jersey. That means having a variety of products – especially CBD strains, so older patients can get pain relief and other remedies without psychoactive effects.
Price is an issue Justice Grown hopes to alleviate.
“We plan on making this very affordable,” Taylor says. “We know we’re not in in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, so we know exactly what kind of the people trying to serve and making sure they can obviously afford our medication if any very important to us.”
Justice Grown will also engage in community outreach.
Taylor hopes to bring the “Marijuana Mondays” educational workshop model from the Edwardsville dispensary. It involves having employees from the operation explain everything from cultivation to the types of products.
The most informative and helpful information can come from the Q-and-A sessions, Taylor says.
“People ask anything. From the simplest questions about security to where do I sign up or how do I use this? Or I can’t smoke, what other ways can I use the product?”