Founded by West Windsor, NJ native Sarah Trent, Valley Wellness is a woman business owned enterprise (WBOE)—and one of the state’s few dispensaries not run by a multi-state operator (MSO).
Located at 407 Route 202 in Raritan, New Jersey, Valley Wellness began welcoming customers on December 9, 2022 and aims to offer a range of medical cannabis products available in various forms, such as flower, vape cartridges, lotions, concentrates and tinctures.
In celebration of Women's History Month and the contributions of women to the cannabis industry, we sat down with Sarah to discuss her foray into medical cannabis and what it means to her as a working parent.
Valley Wellness's story begins when Trent—an attorney and former public defender—started to resent the amount of time she was spending away from her family:
"I was working night shifts and away from my kids too much," says Trent. "I knew I wanted to make a career change, but I wasn't sure what that looked like. So I started doing some research and shortlisting the things I really loved, and at the top of that list was cannabis."
Trent quit her job and applied for a provisional permit from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). She was approved for a license in December 2021, and immediately began working to transform a 2,500-square-foot space in the building shared by longtime local retailer Uneeda Appliance into Valley Wellness.
Though New Jersey has 29 medical cannabis dispensaries registered with the CRC, Raritan River Valley-area patients still “have to travel quite a distance to access medical cannabis,” said Trent, an attorney and former public defender with the Legal Aid Society. “But we're pleased to be able to provide those who seek relief through cannabis a place much closer to home,” she continued.
As part of a commitment to promote “the responsible use of cannabis” and “create an educated workforce” in the budding industry, Trent also founded NJ Cannabis Certified, a 15-hour educational certificate program taught in partnership with eight community colleges across the state. Since its launch in March 2020, more than 1,000 students have completed the course.
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