On July 25 The Medicine Woman New Jersey, a proposed dispensary co-owned by Ice T and Charis B, was approved by the Jersey City’s Cannabis Control Board meeting, along with three other proposed dispensaries. The news was posted on Instagram the following day.
The Medicine Woman Jersey City will encompass 5,000 square feet of retail space featuring local New Jersey cannabis brands, limited edition merch, and provide the necessary education. Medusa NJ, Oceanfront Holding, and The Other Side Dispensary were also approved by the board. Jersey City Cannabis Control Board oversees rules and regulations over licensing, cultivation, testing, and retail, and getting approved is no easy feat.
Charis B, or Charis Burrett, founded The Medicine Woman originally in California before eying the East Coast.
“It’s super, super exciting for us because New Jersey is many years behind where we are in California in terms of legalization,” Burrett tells High Times as she waited for her cab. “And it’s exciting to bring it to a state that is really [motivated] and looking forward to the growth of the cannabis industry in general in their state.
“And in terms of New Jersey and the fact that, you know, Ice is a resident, so Jersey City and the state of New Jersey means so much to him personally. And he is a long time personal friend of my husband and myself. And, you know, obviously, this synergy and everything coming together.”
Burrett’s dispensary will follow the same mindset of other Medicine Woman locations, which initially began as a non-profit delivery service. “Our mindset is to bring global medicine to local areas at an affordable price for everybody,” says Burrett. “We believe that cannabis should be available to everybody that needs it. You know, it is a beautiful medicine. It’s been around for centuries. And we love being able to educate people and communities, have healthy debates and like I said, bring global medicine to local communities at affordable prices.”
Ice T, aka Tracy Lauren Marrow, lives in Edgewater, a community relatively close to Jersey City. He’s well aware of the problems the cannabis industry faces locally. In New Jersey, Black people are over three times more likely to be charged with possession of cannabis than white people, despite similar rates of consumption. With that in mind, initial partnerships include The Last Prisoner Project, Jersey City Mural and Arts Program, Jersey City Employment and Training Program, Hudson County Community College, with more to be announced.
“I’ve dedicated my life and career to giving back and paving the way for minorities. As a New Jersey native, I’m excited for the opportunity legalization offers our community and I look forward to ushering in a new era for Cannabis in the state,” Ice T said in a statement. “I’ve partnered with my friend of over 25 years, Charis B who is an authority in cannabis and founder of The Medicine Woman to ensure a premium experience for our customers and community.”
Burrett said that she’s “100%” in favor of expungement and helping people that have gone to prison over pot—some people for life, for cannabis offenses and cannabis-only offenses is something that is very important to both the community and Jersey City.
Burrett says she has been reading the magazine for longer than most, when buying a magazine was an actual concern over drawing too much attention to ones’ self. “When I was 15, all I wanted to do was get a subscription to High Times magazine,” she admits. “But I was just worried about being on that same government list that everybody would get in. It was the 80s. And to be here today like, you know, 30 to 33 years later talking to you. I couldn’t be more proud of where the industry has gone and kind of, you know, that I’m here. I am. So thank you.”
The Medicine Woman Jersey City is set to open in the fall of 2022 and the team is currently accepting applications for employment for a variety of positions. To apply, send your resume to HR@themedwoman.com, they are committed to sourcing a local workforce with a focus on providing opportunities for former cannabis offenders.