Grounded in science, elevating the standard.
On January 17th, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Health issued a permit to TerrAscend in Boonton Township to begin growing medical marijuana. The permit was issued after a comprehensive review including several site inspections, background checks of its corporate officers and a review of its security operations and cultivation facility.
To our future neighbors and fellow business community members in Northern New Jersey:
The entire TerrAscend organization would like to share our excitement about becoming part of your communities. We are committed to serving you and will work to earn your trust as we develop our operations. We know this will take time, but we believe that our values – which include a relentless focus on exceeding all standards and expectations for operational integrity, environmental sustainability, product quality, and patient service – will enable us to do so.
The medical cannabis industry is relatively new, and not yet universally understood or appreciated. We acknowledge that not everyone in the New Jersey towns in which we’ll operate think that our presence will be a good thing for their community. We hope that by engaging in transparent, fact-based dialogue and consistently demonstrating our values in our day-to-day actions, we will earn the trust of every member of our surrounding communities. We respect and welcome different points of view, and we encourage you to get to know us, too.
At TerrAscend, we are driven by the desire to “do well by doing good.” Our success depends on the positive impact we have on all our stakeholders: patients, communities, employees, and shareholders alike. If we do this, we all benefit.
Below you’ll find answers to many of the questions we’ve heard, and more information on our leaders, our company, and our New Jersey operations. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to getting to know you and to doing well by doing good in your communities.
TerrAscend is a global cannabinoid company that delivers new and innovative products, formulations, and brands focused on the needs of patients and consumers. In New Jersey, we are working to maximize positive impact through our cannabis cultivation facility and medical cannabis dispensaries. Our focus is to improve access to quality medical cannabis and education for patients, safely and effectively, in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.
Our facilities are thoughtfully designed and built to the highest standards, with our Canadian facility being one of eleven companies in the world that is EU-GMP certified. Certification at this level is difficult to achieve, and we’re especially proud of this certification, as it underscores our commitment to product quality and safety. In Boonton Township, we will maintain these high standards and utilize best practices that are in accordance with state regulations.
Our Phillipsburg dispensary will be the first Apothecarium on the East Coast, and the first dispensary in Warren County. It will have the same high-quality design and exceptional service as the other Apothecarium locations, and will bring greater access to patients in surrounding communities. Founded by three cousins and two family friends in California in 2011, The Apothecarium is committed to providing education and excellent customer service for patients through their in-depth, one-on-one consultations from highly trained cannabis consultants. They are also known for their community involvement and offer free cannabis education classes to the public.
Driven by the desired to “do well by doing good,” TerrAscend is building a company based on operational integrity, quality, and trust. We are committed to people and believe cannabis is a medicine that has the potential to improve lives. In addition to providing safe access to quality cannabis, we will help the local economy with a number of full-time employment opportunities, as well as support local community initiatives, such as donating food locally to those in need.
What is cannabis? Is it legal?
Cannabis is a plant that produces flowers or buds, commonly known as marijuana, that are harvested, dried, and consumed for specific desired effects. Cannabis is currently undergoing comprehensive research for its potential medical benefits and applications. It is being studied for its effectiveness on a variety of medical conditions, including cancer, pain relief, and PTSD, among others, and new dosage and delivery forms will help formulate new medical treatments.
The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was enacted in 2010, and by the end of 2012, medical cannabis became available to patients enrolled in the state’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). Today, medical cannabis is legal in 33 US states and Washington, DC.
State officials have announced that over 57,000 registered patients, 2222 caregivers, and 1046 physicians are participating in New Jersey’s medical cannabis program. This number is expected to rise to nearly 200,000 by 2022. Each of these individuals – including seniors, veterans, parents, and children – suffer from debilitating medical conditions. They have tried multiple pharmaceutical formulations – including opioids – without success. Medical cannabis is an alternative treatment option that may provide patients relief with fewer and less serious risks and side effects.
Approved debilitating medical conditions include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Chronic Pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Intractable skeletal spasticity
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Opioid Use Disorder
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
- Terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months to live
- Tourette Syndrome
More information is available at www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana
Why would we want a medical cannabis company in our towns?
First and foremost, it will create jobs. In Boonton Township, our cultivation facility will add 60-80 new jobs for local residents once it’s fully operational in 2020. These jobs include cultivation staff, regulatory compliance and quality assurance staff, scientists, engineers, managers, formulators, IT staff and security personnel. In Phillipsburg, The Apothecarium dispensary will provide 20-30 full-time jobs, including retail, sales and community outreach professionals.
In addition to creating jobs, other local businesses will directly or indirectly benefit from our operations. There will be ample opportunities for secondary industries that are not directly involved in cannabis production and distribution. These industries include software developers, financing services, construction companies, print companies, and many others. New Frontier’s report predicting the impact of federally legal marijuana suggests that nationwide legalization could generate 1.1 million jobs by 2025. More economic benefits of legalizing cannabis can also be found here.
Patient safety is TerrAscend’s priority. We hold high standards for ourselves in a highly regulated industry, and perform third party lab testing for all of our products to ensure they are compliant, consistent, reliable, and safe. We only employ advanced, environmentally sustainable growing practices to maximize positive impacts on the surrounding areas. We don’t use pesticides or herbicides in our cultivation and all our products are compliant with New Jersey’s regulations and up to the highest standards.
We are committed to being good neighbors and want to support our communities. We have dedicating half an acre outside our facility to growing nutritious foods to be donated locally to those in need through the Boonton Food Pantry.
When will your Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) open?
Founded by three cousins and two family friends in California in 2011, The Apothecarium is thrilled to open their first East Coast dispensary location in Phillipsburg NJ. The Apothecarium will be the first ATC in Warren County and expects to be open early 2020.
The Apothecarium will have the same high-quality design and exceptional service as other locations, and will bring greater access to patients in Warren and Morris Counties. The Apothecarium is committed to providing education and excellent customer service for patients through their in-depth, one-on-one consultations from highly trained cannabis consultants.
How is TerrAscend addressing the strong odor associated with cannabis?
At our Boonton Township facility, we are utilizing a state-of-the-art, multi-pronged approach to odor mitigation that includes growing in specialized modular grow rooms, sealing greenhouse windows, and entry way airlocks to contain odors within the cultivation and processing structures, as well as a two-stage odor mitigation system that includes carbon filtration and leading odor neutralization system.
The odor neutralizer was formulated specifically for the chemistry of cannabis odors, including a custom manufactured odor control unit and a custom engineered means of releasing a vapor neutralizer in the most targeted and efficient way. We are working on the advanced odor system with by Byers Scientific, an industry leader in technology for cannabis odor neutralization technologies. Byers Scientific has successfully implemented odor mitigation systems across North America.
Here are some articles that explain how this system has been successful in Santa Barbara, California. It’s worth noting that these facilities meet the environmental standards of the State of California, which are the strictest in the nation.
TerrAscend has substantial cultivation experience and has also addressed this challenge successfully with our other locations. Our Mississauga facility is in a busy urban neighborhood where we employ state-of-the-art odor mitigation systems and we have not had any complaints about odor from the community. We are listening to our neighbors’ concerns and will take additional precautions to limit any potential impact on the surrounding community.
Will having a cannabis cultivation facility or dispensary in our town affect our property values?
It’s unlikely that our cultivation facility and dispensary will have any effect. There is little reliable data on the impact of cultivation facilities or dispensaries on property values. According to a study completed by the National Association of Realtors in 2018, the majority of respondents in states where medical marijuana is legal had not seen a change in residential property values near dispensaries or of commercial property values near cannabis cultivation lands. See the full study here.
What about attracting criminal activities to our community?
There is no data whatsoever suggesting that criminal activity goes up around medical cannabis agricultural sites or dispensaries. Here are some articles that show that legalization of cannabis often leads to decreases in criminal activity:
What security measures are you taking?
TerrAscend follows well-established security protocols, including 24/7 on-site security that is already in place, and a state-of-the-art security system with video monitoring throughout the property, multiple levels of door alarm detection, glass-break detectors, interior motion sensing, seismic detectors, RFID access control points, lighting and other measures.
We will install at least 100 high-definition cameras in secure areas. Cameras utilizing infrared technology will also be installed around the exterior perimeter of the facility. The main production areas will be enclosed with fencing and accessible only through electronic security access controls. All safes, vaults, equipment, and areas used for the production cannabis products, including cultivation, harvesting, processing or storing, will be securely locked and protected from entry when not actively in use.
All employees will be required to undergo extensive background checks, including fingerprinting, administered by the New Jersey State Police. Upon successful completion of the background check, each employee will be issued a photo identification card by the NJ Department of Health that they must wear at all times while on site.
Will the cultivation facility have a negative impact on water supply and soil quality?
We only employ advanced environmentally sustainable growing practices and take all necessary safeguards to protect our land and the community. TerrAscend does not use pesticides in our cultivation. We will rely on our experience as cultivators in Canada, Pennsylvania, California, and Nevada, to ensure we operate as good members of the Boonton Township community.
Based on per-acre estimates, we do not anticipate using more water than the previous farming operation. We will be utilizing highly efficient drip irrigation systems and expect our total water usage will not exceed what has been traditionally used on this site. Excess irrigation water will be recaptured and reused. We will dispose of wastewater sustainably, utilizing the municipal water system, both in compliance with the regulations and due to environmental care.
In previous greenhouse operations over the past 30 years on the same site, contaminated wastewater was put directly into the drainage system at the back of the property. We will properly dispose of all organic and non-organic waste, in compliance with all applicable laws and standards. Waste will be discarded responsibly through a registered waste company specializing in medical and biological waste.
What about the impact on children in the community?
Our facility in Boonton Township is an agricultural operation that is producing cannabis for the treatment of medical conditions approved and licensed by the State of New Jersey. We are stringently monitored and inspected by the New Jersey Department of Health and cannot sell medical products at our cultivation facility in Boonton Township. New Jersey State law mandates that a medical cannabis cultivation site cannot be within 1,000 feet of a drug-free school zone. Our site is approximately 1.5 miles from the nearest drug-free school zone.
Our dispensary operation will be located in Phillipsburg, NJ, approximately 55 miles from Boonton Township. Medical cannabis products will be transported there from the Boonton Township facility in secure vehicles, as required by the state. The dispensary is located roughly two-thirds of a mile from the nearest school, which substantially exceeds the state requirements of a minimum of one thousand feet.
Our operations will look and feel no different than any other type of agricultural facility or pharmacy. From the outside, it won’t be apparent what we’re growing or dispensing medical cannabis. See our notes on what we’re doing in terms of security, odor mitigation, and environmental impact.
What steps are you taking to protect the community from the impact of supplemental lighting?
During evening hours, when supplemental grow lights are most often used in greenhouses, we will use blackout curtains on the tops of our greenhouses and insulated panels on the sides to shield the light from escaping. We take all potential environmental impacts seriously and have applied precautions to limit any negative effects on our surrounding community.
Will the cultivation facility create traffic congestion?
TerrAscend does not expect any traffic issues or congestion related to our facility. We expect few issues and far less congestion than the Old Hamilton Farm as we will not be open to the public. Based on the previous commercial and retail operations of Hamilton Farms, the traffic volumes of our operation will be dramatically less.
What other environmental impacts could the cultivation facility have?
TerrAscend’s cannabis cultivation operation will have less impact on the surrounding environment than the former Hamilton Farms, and will take all necessary safeguards to protect our land and the community.
We have already cleaned a large amount of waste from the site that was left behind by the previous owners, including abandoned vehicles, building materials, miscellaneous organic and inorganic waste, and over 50,000 pounds of scrap metal. We strive to have a continued positive impact on the environment and community.
Given our efforts to minimize odor, light pollution, and environmental impact, we expect no negative impact to local wildlife. There may be some small benefit to wildlife from the addition of 70 new pine trees around the perimeter of the property, and from the half acre of land dedicated to growing fruits, veggies, flowers, and other plants.
How can I get a job? What kind of jobs will be created?
We are thrilled to have already received substantial interest for jobs at both our Boonton Township and Phillipsburg sites. At our cultivation facility in Boonton Township, we’ll employ 20-30 professionals by the end of 2019 and 60-80 by the time we’re fully operational in 2020. These full-time jobs will include cultivation staff, regulatory compliance and quality assurance staff, scientists, engineers, managers, formulators, IT staff, accountants, and security personnel.
In Phillipsburg, The Apothecarium dispensary will employ around 20-30 full-time employees in early 2020, for jobs including retail, sales, and community outreach.
Interested candidates can go to the careers section on our website or submit their resume through the contact form.
How do I become a patient?
The New Jersey Department of Health offers information on qualifying conditions, how to register as a patient, and a list of Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC). Please visit www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/patients
Our Leadership Team
Dr. Michael Nashat
Co-Founder, CEO & Director
TerrAscend’s co-founder and CEO, Dr. Michael Nashat, Pharm. D., has over 12 years of experience in patient care, quality assurance, medical and regulatory affairs and R&D. Prior to co-founding TerrAscend, Dr. Nashat cofounded and was the Executive Director of OnPharm Independent Pharmacy Group, the largest independent non banner group in Canada with over 500 pharmacies. Dr. Nashat is a former board member of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, Ontario College of Pharmacists and the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy. Dr. Nashat is a former member of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Pharmacy Council and the former Vice Chair of the Ontario Pharmacists Association’s Owners Advisory Council. Dr. Nashat is no stranger to New Jersey’s clinical research community, having completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience Medical Strategy with Bristol-Myers Squibb, and worked as an adjunct faculty member of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University.
Jason Wild is the President and Chief Investment Officer of JW Asset Management, LLC, and the advisor for five investment partnerships with approximately $1 billion in assets under management. Mr. Wild received his license as a pharmacist in 1997, and subsequently founded JW Asset Management, LLC in 1998. The firm has a strong history of finding opportunities within the healthcare sector. He is a graduate of the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy. Mr. Wild is the Chairman of the Board of TerrAscend Corp. and Arbor Pharmaceuticals. He is a board member of Vensun Pharmaceuticals and Vitruvias Therapeutics. Funds managed by JW Asset Management, LLC are the largest shareholders in TerrAscend Corp. Mr. Wild is also a board member of NETA NJ LLC where he will be actively involved in planning and directing the organization’s strategic and long-range goals.
Patrizia “Trish” Zita is the owner of Kaufman Zita Group and a recognized woman leader in the capitol and the business community. She is the winner of Emerge New Jersey’s Bench Builder Award, which is given out to those who advance the organization’s goal of increasing women’s voice in public policy and decision-making at the local, state, and federal levels. In 2016, Executive Women of New Jersey honored Trish for her trailblazing work as one of New Jersey’s most influential and accomplished women leaders. Trish serves on the Rutgers Center for American Women in Politics, New Jersey Bipartisan Coalition for Women’s Appointments’ Advisory Committee. She founded the Kaufman Zita Group in 2007, where she is the firm’s managing business partner and provides front-line representation for several Fortune 500 companies, as well as non-profit organizations, healthcare and trade association clients. Trish is active in several organizations throughout the state, including serving on the Board of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties, a non-profit organization that advocates for children removed from their families due to abuse or neglect.
Alex Havenick is a gambling and cannabis entrepreneur as well as an attorney. Alex is currently the Executive Vice President of Southwest Florida Enterprises, a privately held company based in Miami, Florida, where he heads operations for Magic City Casino. He was formerly the COO at the Casino at Dania Beach. Alex is an experienced investor in a broad spectrum of startup ventures and is also a very active member of the South Florida community where he is involved with the University of Miami, Sylvester Cancer Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Miami Children’s Hospital. He was an initial member of Surterra Florida, one of the initial 5 license holders for medical cannabis in the State of Florida. Alex was also an adjunct professor at The University of Miami. Alex received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Miami.
Director of Operations
Jerry is a 40-year veteran of UPS, where he worked his way up from the human resources department to the position of business manager. Jerry’s experiences at UPS include spearheading package delivery throughout New Jersey – where he created efficient routes to optimize drive times, assessed customer needs, and managed employees – and developing several projects to make package delivery more efficient and shorten routes.
Director of Community Relations
Jeannine LaRue has over 40 years of knowledge and experience in policy, governmental, and political positions throughout the state. She joined Kaufman Zita Group in 2011 after retiring from Rutgers University as Vice President of Public Affairs. Prior to joining the University’s administration, Jeannine served as Deputy Chief of Staff for former New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine where she oversaw the Office of Appointments, the Office of Constituency Services and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. From 1996-2006, Jeannine was Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Saint Barnabas Health Care System. Jeannine was appointed by Governor James J. Florio as the first African American full-time member to the Casino Control Commission. Jeannine convened the first ever Statewide Women’s Summit in 1992 and cares deeply about issues involving domestic violence, bullying and impacts to the LGBT community, having advocated and worked on legislation impacting all these groups. Jeannine has been honored by over 80 different community and non-profit organizations in her lifetime.