TerrAscend Corp. (CSE: TER) is opening its first dispensary in New Jersey’s under-served medical market and just before the state launches its adult-use program.
On Tuesday, the North American cannabis operator said it received the final state permit for its Apothecarium store located in Phillipsburg, an east New Jersey town that borders Pennsylvania along the Delaware River.
It is only the 12th medical dispensary that has been granted permits to operate in New Jersey, a state with 8.9 milllion people and over 94,000 registered medical cannabis patients.
While the location will begin serving patients by appointment today, its grand opening is slated for Nov. 30.
TerrAscend says it expects to open two more Apothecarium dispensaries in northern New Jersey in 2021 upon regulatory approval. The company is only one of four retail permit holders in the densely populated region.
“I’m thrilled to open the first of our three Apothecarium retail dispensaries in New Jersey and look forward to providing medical cannabis patients with access to the essential medicine they need,” said TerrAscend CEO Jason Ackerman in a statement.
Like a handful of companies in the industry, TerrAscend is aiming for a head start in the Garden State before legal adult-use sales are expected to begin sometime next year.
Just days after New Jersey voters passed a ballot on Nov. 3 to legalize recreational weed, state lawmakers have been pushing to pass legislation to set up a regulated adult-use market before Jan. 1, 2021.
In Arizona, officials say they will allow medical dispensary operators to transition to the state’s incoming adult-use market. While New Jersey hasn’t yet promised the same, businesses like TerrAscend could have a strong first-mover advantage if the state makes a similar path for established operators.
Recreational cannabis sales in New Jersey are projected to hit US$1.8 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data.
In its Nov. 19 third quarter report, CEO Ackerman said his company plans on being a major player in the state.
With operations concentrated in Pennsylvania and California, TerrAscend reported net sales of CAD$51 million for the three months ended Sept. 30. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 56 per cent quarter-over-quarter to CAD$17.8 million.
But the Toronto-based company is the first to construct a licensed cultivation and manufacturing facility in New Jersey and has only begun recording sales. Located in the town Boonton, TerrAscend said its been scaling up operations at its 37,000 square foot greenhouse to meet demand in the rapidly growing market.
The firm began selling its Kind Tree branded products that are manufactured at the Boonton facility at its premier New Jersey dispensary. It will also sell products there such as dried flower, vapes, oils, pre-rolls, capsules, tinctures and topicals.
Apothecarium stores are also open in Pennsylvania and northern California. With a modern aesthetic, they’re designed to be comfortable to navigate for seniors, patients and first-time visitors.
Shares of TerrAscend climbed 3.3 per cent to $10.13 Friday on the Canadian Securities Exchange. And since Nov. 2, company stock is up 31 per cent.
Top photo of Apothecarium dispensary in San Francisco via @SFLiberal/Twitter