In the heart of Plainfield, New Jersey, a new cannabis dispensary is sprouting up, and it’s not just any dispensary. Queen City Dispensary, taking on the nickname of Plainfield, founded by the dynamic duo Sarah Stretchberry and Justin Singer, is set to redefine the cannabis shopping experience. With a grand opening that saw the mayor himself cutting the ribbon, this isn’t just a business; it’s a community movement.
Queen City Origin Story
Sarah and Justin’s journey began a few years ago, and their shared passion for the cannabis industry sparked an idea. Justin is a Founding Partner at NYC-based law firm Feuerstein Kulick, where he leveraged his legal background for the cannabis industry. One of his expertise is in helping clients win cannabis licenses for the past eight years, which is where he started working with Sarah. After a decade of opening facilities for Whole Foods, Sarah entered the cannabis industry as VP of Expansion with Holistic Industries, a large vertically-integrated, multi-state operator to do similar work, opening facilities.
Sarah worked with Justin’s team closely for several years on successfully applying for retail licenses for Holistic Industries. This shared experience between Sarah and Justin led to the creation of ApptitudePlus, a consulting company that can help many more clients navigate and secure cannabis applications.
But the dream didn’t stop there. With a nudge from Justin’s mother-in-law, who is the licensee and longstanding Plainfield resident, the idea of Queen City was born. They found a building, rallied local investors, and embarked on a mission to serve the Plainfield community, which is designated as an Impact Zone.
A Team with a Vision
At the heart of Queen City is a team dedicated to representing Plainfield with pride. The building that is home to the dispensary today actually used to be a preschool. On top of that, Ariel Hunt, the former director of the preschool and well-respected community member and resident of Plainfield, transitioned to become the dispensary’s assistant general manager. This is a testament to the transformative power of passion and the team’s commitment to do right by the locals. Pride and quality are evident in every corner of the dispensary, from the community-inspired mural that has become a town favorite to the carefully curated products that cater to every cannabis enthusiast.
More Than Just Cannabis
Queen City isn’t just about selling cannabis; it’s about creating an experience. With technology-driven features like self-serve kiosks, customer-facing menus, and diverse payment options, online ordering via their own app, shopping at Queen City is a breeze. And for those loyal patrons? A loyalty program awaits to make every purchase even sweeter. But the journey to this point wasn’t without its challenges. From navigating real estate requirements to securing licenses and rallying local support, Sarah and Justin’s dedication shines through every hurdle they’ve overcome.
Education at the Forefront
For the uninitiated, stepping into the world of cannabis can be daunting. Queen City recognizes this and places a strong emphasis on education. Budtenders, the guiding lights of the dispensary, undergo rigorous training to ensure every customer feels informed and confident in their choices. The dispensary’s website further bolsters this commitment, offering a treasure trove of information for both novices and seasoned cannabis enthusiasts.
With dreams of expanding their green empire beyond Plainfield, Sarah and Justin are just getting started. Their vision for Queen City is clear: a welcoming hub reminiscent of a local coffee shop, where community thrives and cannabis education flourishes. As Sarah aptly puts it, it’s all about passion, perseverance, and tapping into the supportive cannabis community.
The September 7th grand opening was celebrated with food trucks lining the streets and the first hundred customers enjoying a treat on the house. This marks a new chapter for Plainfield’s cannabis community. With its unique blend of community focus, educational commitment, and entrepreneurial spirit, Queen City is not just a dispensary; it’s a beacon for what the future of cannabis in New Jersey can be.