A lawsuit against controversial cannabis applicant Story Dispensary has been dismissed by a Superior Court judge, putting a stop for the moment to any legal action against the potential Hoboken facility.
Hudson County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Jablonski dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice by the 51-53 14th Street Condominium Association, representing residents in the building where Story Dispensary could potentially set up shop. “Without prejudice” means another lawsuit can be filed in the future.
The condo association sued Story in May, alleging that they were misled in the creation of the dispensary “under the false pretense” of relocating a physical therapy office co-owned by Jaclyn Fulop, the wife of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
They alleged that after the former owner of the now-closed Hudson Tavern sold the property to Jaclyn Fulop and co-owner Drew Nussbaum last November, the two agreed to a letter of intent to lease the property to Story, who are planning to create a recreational cannabis dispensary.
Story has been met with an organized controversy since their initial Cannabis Review Board meeting in February over how a dispensary would affect the neighborhood, with a number of council members also calling on them to withdraw their application entirely.
The applicants have been seeking approval from the Planning Board, but have been carried over three meetings due to the sheer length of them, mainly from the number of public questions that they’ve faced.
Martin Cabalar of Becker & Poliakoff, who represents the condo association, said in an interview before last Thursday’s Planning Board meeting that the judge had determined that the claims against Story “are not yet ripe.”
“[This] means that because the Planning Board hasn’t made a decision whether or not they will approve this application at this time, the association doesn’t have claims to assert,” he said.
“He made the determination that Story is a prospective tenant, and if the Planning Board application is approved, our client would have an opportunity, should they so choose, to seek to amend the complaint again,” he continued.
Cabalar also said that the lawsuit is still active because the fraud and civil conspiracy claims against Jaclyn Fulop and Drew Nussbaum have not been dismissed.
Lee Vartan, counsel for Story, said that it was a “frivolous lawsuit and the court obviously agreed.”
After Story was carried over again at the board’s August 11 meeting, the applicants will be heard for a fourth time on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m..