For the first time since Hoboken began processing retail cannabis dispensary applicants, a Planning Board meeting did not stretch late into the night and the board approved Jersey Joint for a store on the north end of the city.
The board gave the green light for the applicants, who are seeking to create a dispensary at 1427 Grand Street at 15th Street near the industrial north end of the city. They had previously received approval by the Cannabis Review Board in May, and also obtained a conditional license by the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission last month.
The applicants said the store will be located in a six-story building that’s currently under construction and was approved by the Zoning Board several years ago. The first floor will have the retail facility, while the second floor will have office and administration space.
Nehar Patel will be the general manager of the dispensary, and will run operations with employees, sales, inventory and site management responsibilities. He’s currently the Chief Business Officer of Campfire Cannabis in West Boylston, Massachusetts that opened in October 2020, and plans to move to Hoboken once operations are about to start.
Project architect Frank Minervina explained that the retail floor on the ground floor will have an entry vestibule on the northwest end of the store on 15th Street, followed by a waiting lobby that leads to the sales area, before exiting from another vestibule. The first floor will also have a delivery vestibule.
He continued that the second floor will have two administrative offices, an employee break room, janitorial space, as well as cannabis storage, which Patel said will be reinforced.
Patel explained the store’s operations, saying it will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week, with 12 employees on a peak shift. The owners expect between 200-300 transactions per weekday, and “north of 300” on the weekends. He said there will be no consumption on site.
He said product deliveries will occur about once per day via unmarked sprinter vans, and will be brought in through unmarked boxes. The windows will have a vinyl tint so that the interior of the store can’t be viewed from the outside, and the store will have two to three unarmed guards in a peak shift.
Parking will also be validated for the store via an agreement with Impark a few blocks away at 1450 Garden St..
Compared to other proposed dispensaries such as Story Dispensary and Blue Violets that have received backlash in Hoboken, Jersey Joint did not attract any at the meeting, and received positive comments, primarily due to their location near the industrial area.
“Not just because you don’t want it in your neighborhood, but a lot of the traffic and safety concerns where you have that conflict between a lot of pedestrians walking around, this area doesn’t have that,” said Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, who had previously voiced opposition against Story Dispensary and Blue Violets.
“By the time it does get fully developed, which is the next 2, 3, 5, whatever years, I think we’re all gonna settle into the normalcy of these dispensaries, and all fit together and we’ll develop around them,” she continued. “This location feels great.”
Resident Elizabeth Urtecho also said that Jersey Joint “has shown us, unlike some other applicants, that they can run this business; they have experience to do so.”
Following their Planning Board approval, Jersey Joint will need to receive a resolution of support before the City Council to get full local approval.