Tucked in a small business mall in an industrial space of Secaucus, New Jersey, throughout the Hudson River from Manhattan, sits Harmony Dispensary. Behind its unassuming storefront, Harmony prides itself as having an particularly excessive normal amongst the Garden State’s medical marijuana hashish retailers. While dispensary clients don’t get to see it, all of the hashish on the market at Harmony is grown on the premises, in a singular and state-of-the-art hydroponic operation.
Leslie Hoffman, Harmony’s communications director, says Harmony’s “biosecure facility” is setting a brand new commonplace for hashish cultivation in New Jersey.
“We have the highest biosecure level in the state,” Hoffman stated. “There is no mandatory state regulation on this. As far as I know, we’re the only ones taking it to this level.”
Here’s how the system works: Anyone who enters the develop space has to first “gown up” in a jumpsuit and undergo an “air-shower” that removes any attainable traces of mould, mildew, mites or different contaminants. All air in the develop facility runs via charcoal and HEPA filtration (brief for high-efficiency particulate air), in addition to a brine answer.
Meanwhile, the water that feeds Harmony’s hashish crops is processed for purity. Municipal water enters the system, receiving a “reverse osmosis” remedy earlier than reaching the crops. This pushes the water by means of ultra-fine membranes, thereby eradicating contaminants. After irrigation, the water goes to an ozone generator, which takes out impurities however retains in vitamins. Personnel add extra vitamins as wanted and recycle the water again into the system.
The entire operation is computerized, together with the water valves which might be adjusted for every part of the plant’s life. In reality, inside the develop room, Harmony has built-in automation into as many steps of the course of as they will. The crops sit on tables that transfer on a monitor system, advancing in increments daily or two, bringing them to workstations designed for every stage of cultivation, together with planting, vegetative, flowering and harvesting.
The system was developed in-house, and produced with gear from different industries, however then retrofitted for hashish cultivation. A employees of 35 is concerned in the numerous points of the course of, from planting and cloning to harvesting and packaging.
“We differentiate ourselves on the market as pure, consistent, effective, modern medicine,” Hoffman stated.
Harmony is one of six “alternative treatment centers” (as they’re formally recognized) now working in New Jersey’s restricted medical marijuana program, with six extra licenses due to be authorised by yr’s finish. Now, there are two every in the north, central and south areas of the state, with Harmony in the first class.
Harmony is a brand new addition to New Jersey’s constellation of ATCs, because it took a few yr to get the operation up and operating. Harmony acquired its license to develop in July 2017, planted its first seeds that October and solely acquired its license to promote the following June, as the samples from the first harvest have been accepted.
“We opened June 18, and within an hour of announcing our opening, we had patients,” Hoffman says. “We continue to see an increase, as well as a repeat customer base.”
The dispensary now receives between 50 and 100 sufferers a day, usually in the larger finish of that vary, in accordance to Hoffman.
Growth is anticipated, as membership in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is growing by about 100 sufferers a day, standing at almost 30,000 as of October 2018. New Jersey doesn’t have leisure marijuana, although its new governor Phil Murphy has said his intent to legalize hashish for grownup use in the close to future.
Shaya Brodchandel, Harmony’s CEO, describes the dispensary’s recommendation to new sufferers: “Try it, go slow, see what your reaction is, untill you find what works for you, and stick with that.”
Brodchandel says that again ache is one of the principal circumstances that sufferers are available for, whereas nervousness and PTSD are additionally widespread complaints.
Harmony grows 10 strains complete and shows them on digital screens in the foyer with close-up photographs of the bud. Alongside every listed selection is the proportion of THC and CBD, in addition to the proportion of sativa and indica in the genetic combine. The info on THC and CBD content material comes from testing carried out on all strains by the New Jersey Health Department at its lab in Trenton, with the outcomes posted on-line.
Harmony’s hottest strains embrace Green Crack, a 50-50 indica-sativa hybrid with an 18 % THC content material, a Purple Crack with comparable stats and Strawberry OG, one other hybrid with 21.four % THC.
Hoffman says that “extractions are the next phase” for Harmony. As an Earth Day undertaking in April, she put in beehives on the premises and hopes to harvest 200 kilos of honey this yr. “We’ll store it until we have extractions, and then we’ll be ready to sell cannabis-infused honey.”
When requested about Harmony’s future if Gov. Murphy fulfills his ambition to legalize leisure hashish in New Jersey, Hoffman responds: “If it happens, we will rise to it. But we’re hoping the medical program doesn’t get rolled into the soil as the recreational market comes in.”
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Originally appeared in Issue 34 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE