The finish line is finally in sight for Janna Williams.
Williams is the owner of Roll Models, a soon-to-open cannabis dispensary located in Roselle, New Jersey. The company has been awarded its annual license from the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission and plans to open before the end of April. According to Williams, it’s the first business owned by a disabled veteran to receive an annual retail license in New Jersey as a social equity applicant.
“As a single mother of three and a disabled Air Force veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, I have a deep passion for helping others like myself find alternatives to cope with PTSD and similar mental health issues,” she says. “My goal is to provide a safe and welcoming space where people can access high-quality cannabis products and receive expert guidance on how to use them to manage their symptoms.”
The company also has plans for a consumption lounge that will come in the second phase of the business.
Williams says the biggest challenge to getting open has been funding, although Roll Models is a certified Minority Women Business Enterprise, which would qualify for the state’s social equity program.
“The grants that the state provides went to businesses who have corporations backing them,” Williams says.
Nonetheless, the company is finally on track to open and serve adult-use customers in northeastern New Jersey, whether they’re looking for recreational products or more of a wellness focus.
“My dispensary’s focus is simply helping everyday people,” Williams says. “Helping the individuals who are suffering that may not have a medical card and can’t find alternatives. Everyday people need help coping too so I will stand as the bridge between the industry and the people that need my help.”
Williams says her own experience in coping with PTSD plays a vital part in the company because “my passion to help others is what drives the company. I take my life experiences and things I have been going through and use it as a learning experience so I’m not making the same mistakes but improving the company’s needs.”