Columbia Care opened its second New Jersey dispensary in Deptford on Aug. 16 at 10 a.m., supported by its Vineland grow facility that’s been open for about one year.
By noon, Columbia Care Operations Director Volley Hayhurst said the Cannabist dispensary at 1692 Clements Bridge Road saw more than 50 new medical cannabis patients.
“The key for us was to allow patient access in the southern part of New Jersey,” Hayhurst said. “When we were pursuing this location, we saw there was a massive need. When we opened up Vineland, we’d heard patients say we were just so tired of waiting in line [for their medicine].”
Ahead of the opening of the adult use cannabis market, the state’s medical program continues to grow. Hayhurst said the Vineland location sees 30 to 60 new patients weekly. Statewide, the program sits at more than 100,000 people.
For us it was kind of our strategy—as we listen to the patients, our goal was just to provide superior patient access. It’s being able to come in and have a one-stop shop in our four walls.
– Volley Hayhurst, operations director
Looking ahead to when the market opens up to all New Jerseyans 21-and-over, Hayhurst said Deptford’s proximity to Philadelphia made it an attractive place to set up shop.
The Deptford store has 10 point-of-sale systems and has wholesale agreements with many of the other cannabis providers in New Jersey to offer variety to patients, and soon, customers.
“For us it was kind of our strategy—as we listen to the patients, our goal was just to provide superior patient access. It’s being able to come in and have a one-stop shop in our four walls. Someone’s medicine might not come from Columbia Care, it might come from another vendor out there, but we’re able to offer it,” Hayhurst said.
Hayhurst joined Columbia Care two years ago after nearly 20 years with an Anheuser Busch wholesaler in Delaware, the same one his father worked at for 30-plus years. He said his time in the beer industry has come in handy.
“We applied the strategy I saw in the beer world and applied how we sell to the patients in Delaware, at least. Patients liked diversity, they like new things every week, just like people like new craft beer options every week. So it became, ‘What’s Columbia Care gonna do next?’ And it was an every Friday thing, a new vape or a new strain,” Hayhurst said.
Columbia Care is now in 12 states. A third New Jersey dispensary is expected to open by the shore in the fourth quarter, though Hayhurst couldn’t share the exact location.