NJ woman-owned cannabis cultivator is 1st independent to bring products to market (slideshow)

Kimberly Redmond//October 30, 2023//

NJ woman-owned cannabis cultivator is 1st independent to bring products to market (slideshow)

Kimberly Redmond//October 30, 2023//

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Brute’s Roots, a woman-owned, family-run recreational cultivator in South Jersey, is bringing its products to market through a newly formed wholesale retail channel made up of other female-led cannabis companies.

As of Oct. 25, the brand’s signature strain, The GoodFather, is on the shelves at Valley Wellness in Raritan, URB’N Dispensary in Newark and Holistic Solutions in Atco, as well as the Brute’s Roots dispensary in Egg Harbor.

Kelly Gatto, president and owner of Brute’s Roots – the first independently owned adult-use grower in the state to launch product – said she was excited to hand deliver the first batch of wholesale orders to the three dispensaries, saying, “It is a huge milestone for our company and the industry at large, and I want to be there for it.”

By the end of the year, Brute’s Roots – which is one of two New Jersey cultivators utilizing greenhouse cultivation methods – expects to introduce additional strains, Gatto said.

Brute’s Roots, Valley Wellness, URB’N and Holistic Solutions each received their licenses through the 2019 New Jersey Department of Health’s Request for Alternative Treatment Center applications and have all overcome obstacles in becoming operational, according to Valley Wellness founder and Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trent.

“There is a real sense of comradery among the class of 2019,” said Trent. “We do not see ourselves as competitors; this industry is unique in that we are leaning on each other to succeed.”

After Valley Wellness’ initial application to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) was approved in 2019, Trent opened her dispensary in November 2022. Besides being the highest scoring applicant in its class, Valley is the first independently owned and operated dispensary to launch in New Jersey and first cannabis retailer in Somerset County.

“I have personally overseen purchasing since we opened our doors and I strive to curate a menu that has a wide variety of selection, so that patients and customers can conveniently shop for the best products, the addition of Brute’s Roots sun grown flower to our menu is very special and sure to make our patients and customers happy,” said Trent.

At URB’N dispensary – which opened in April – Chief Operating Officer Ramz Maxemous said, “As a woman- and local, family-owned dispensary we are excited to support another woman-owned business, and a fellow 2019 applicant. We are proud to carry Brute’s Roots and while shocked to see the owner, Kelly, herself making the inaugural deliveries today, we are not surprised. Great things are starting to happen in New Jersey.”

As founder and chief executive officer of Holistic Solutions, Suzan Nickelson made history this year as the first Black woman to open a dispensary in New Jersey, launching medicinal sales in February and recreational sales in June.

“We come from the beautiful island of Jamaica where sun grown cannabis is revered and look forward to being the first in southern New Jersey to offer this exceptional flower to our customers and patients,” Nickelson.