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Finding Your Zen: A Conversation With Zen Leaf Dispensaries

a photo of cannabis dispensary

Zen Leaf is a network of cannabis dispensaries initially launched to serve medical marijuana patients in Las Vegas. The founders’ vision was to create an environment that satisfied the many needs of patients while helping foster the medical cannabis community through accessibility, authenticity, and reliability. 

Since the first dispensary opened in 2016, Zen Leaf has expanded to 13 states. As Zen Leaf continues to grow, the team is committed to providing compassionate service and top-tier products to medical and recreational cannabis users.

We sat down with Adam Lordi, New Jersey outreach manager, and Josh Kudish, New Jersey state director, to learn more about Zen Leaf, its mission, and how they’re changing the world of cannabis for consumers. 

Leafwell: To get started, tell us more about Zen Leaf’s origins.

Josh Kudish: Zen Leaf was established to provide a different kind of dispensary experience. Our goal was to help patrons from all walks of life and create a safe, welcoming, and longstanding cannabis community. To this day, we prioritize comfort and care in every Zen Leaf dispensary. When designing our spaces, compassion and hospitality are top of mind – this informs everything from interior design to what services and products we offer our communities.

Leafwell: How did you get your start in the cannabis industry?

Adam Lordi: I began my career with Zen Leaf almost two years ago. Starting as a cashier, I discovered many opportunities to grow quickly in this company and the cannabis industry. I was promoted to the assistant general manager of our Lawrence store and then worked my way into outreach. Now, I dedicate my time to helping New Jersey residents get relief from their ailments by guiding them through how to acquire a card through the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program (NJMCP).

Leafwell: Can you share a bit about your background working closely with medical patients inside Zen Leaf’s dispensaries?

AL: Truly, the best part about working in a dispensary is the connections you form with people. We have had many regulars share updates about their lives and conditions. It’s gratifying to know that you played a small part in improving someone’s quality of life.

Leafwell: How has the New Jersey Marijuana Care Program evolved over the past few years?

AL: Interestingly, I see many parallels between the NJMCP and Zen Leaf’s paths. Both are responsible for protecting and assisting medical patients in New Jersey. The NJMCP and New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) reflect an ever-changing market that adapts to the shifting economy and community voices. Even the look of New Jersey’s medical cannabis website from a few months ago is drastically different from what you see today.

Leafwell: How does Zen Leaf prioritize New Jersey medical cannabis patients, despite the state recently launching recreational cannabis sales?

JK: At Zen Leaf, patients are always the top priority. We have a concierge service team people can reach during business hours to help them navigate Zen Leaf’s different products and services. We also offer the following exclusive services for patients at all of our stores:

  • Extra/reserved patient parking
  • Express patient-only points of sale (no waiting in lines, patients get straight in the door and right to the counter)
  • Reserved medical shopping hours
  • Everyday patient discount
  • Extended medical menus and a reserved inventory of medical products
  • Home delivery services

Leafwell: What are the benefits of being a Zen Leaf patient in New Jersey?

AL: We owe our success to our medical patients, which is why Zen Leaf offers priority service for every visit. First-time patients receive 20% off their entire purchase. Zen Leaf also has exclusive menu items reserved specifically for medical patients. Most exciting, we offer delivery to select zip codes throughout the Garden State and are steadily expanding the areas we deliver to.

Leafwell: What makes Zen Leaf unique compared to other dispensaries in New Jersey?

AL: We focus highly on the customer experience. We learned a lot from the medical market before recreational cannabis was available and use that knowledge to offer exemplary service to all who walk through our doors. Zen Leaf also has a top-notch concierge service with highly qualified guides to help customers navigate products and answer any questions.

JK: Every day, we strive to be better than we were the day before and do so with the goal of consistently providing an excellent experience. As Zen Leaf grows, we do so with eyes and ears wide open. We are always listening, observing, optimizing, and enhancing.

Since Zen Leaf was founded, we’ve continued to build upon the fundamental principles set forth years ago: be knowledgeable and accessible while demonstrating compassion and integrity. We aim to offer the widest selection of quality products and work closely with communities to help us provide that next-level experience.

Leafwell: Can you tell us more about Zen Leaf’s home delivery service?

JK: To provide medical patients easy access to their medicine, Zen Leaf offers home delivery. We process all deliveries from our Neptune location and actively serve patients in and around Elizabeth, Lawrence, and Neptune. A minimum order of $75 qualifies for home delivery, and any orders of $100 or more waive the $5 delivery fee. On our resource page, you can also find the most up-to-date list of serviceable areas.

Leafwell: What kind of products are available at Zen Leaf? What other dispensaries in New Jersey carry Zen Leaf branded products?

JK: We offer products spanning all categories, from edibles, tinctures, and topicals to flowers, vapes, and concentrates. Our signature brand, Verano, has options for customers in each category. We also offer our wellness products, Avexia, in topical or tincture formats. You can find Verano-branded products across New Jersey, plus [in] practically every [Zen Leaf] dispensary state-wide.

AL: While our menu has new products added regularly, we proudly offer many classic items. We have a wide variety of flower and vape options, and our edibles are the best in the state. Zen Leaf lotions and balms can also be a game-changer for people with localized pain.

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Leafwell: What do you recommend to new patients visiting Zen Leaf for the first time?

AL: When you walk into a Zen Leaf location, don’t be shy with your budtender. Starting a dialogue about what specifically you’re looking for is the best way for them to find the right product for you. While cannabis can be a fun recreational product, it also has tremendous medicinal value, so don’t hesitate to ask us questions. Zen Leaf budtenders are here to ensure customers receive the best possible experience.

Leafwell: What is the process for becoming a patient at one of Zen Leaf’s dispensaries in New Jersey?

AL: All locations have postcards with a QR code. When you scan the code, it takes you to a page where you’ll fill out a short form and get connected with a Zen Leaf representative. New Jersey requires a medical consultation before applying for a medical marijuana card; Leafwell is a great option for finding a doctor to speak with quickly.

After your consultation, the doctor will provide you with a reference ID and send you to the state website. Once you create a profile and upload your ID and proof of residency, the page will prompt you to purchase a card. When your medical cannabis card arrives (usually in two weeks), you can purchase products and enjoy the perks of being a medical patient at Zen Leaf.

Leafwell: What insights can you share with our audience into the medical cannabis program in New Jersey?

AL: There are products for every level of cannabis use available at all our stores. I’ve had many conversations with first-time patients with little-to-no experience with cannabis or who might be cautious or nervous. Remember: we want to provide the best possible products for your needs. There may be some trial and error, but we’re here to guide you through the process.

JK: New Jersey is eager to adapt its medical cannabis program to provide patients with the best services and support. As a recent example, all taxes on medical cannabis were removed. We’re excited that the state is constantly evaluating ways to serve its patient community better.

Leafwell: How does Zen Leaf collaborate with Leafwell to assist patients in New Jersey?

AL: Leafwell has made itself available to Zen Leaf at every opportunity. Through our close collaboration, I’ve observed the team’s sincere dedication to serving patients. I had such a positive experience with Leafwell that I used their services to renew my personal cannabis prescription.

Leafwell: Where can patients find Zen Leaf dispensaries in New Jersey?

JK: You can find Zen Leaf dispensaries in Elizabeth, Lawrence, and Neptune, which allows us to serve communities across the entire Garden State.

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