North Bergen has issued a resolution of support to Green House Apothecary, LLC, again, to open a recreational cannabis dispensary in the township to sell to adults over the age of 21.
In July 2021, the township adopted an ordinance creating the Cannabis Committee to receive and review applications by cannabis businesses seeking to operate in the township. Since its formation, the committee has been making recommendations to the Board of Commissioners as to whether the applicants should be approved at the local level.
Previously, in March, Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution of support for Green House to obtain a cannabis license and open a dispensary at 1600 Tonnelle Ave. However, the creation of a new commercial zone along River Road permits one medical or recreational cannabis dispensary as long as it does not exceed the township’s total limit of two.
With that, the board is now supporting Green House’s application for a Class 5 retail cannabis license to open a dispensary at 9001 River Road, which received Zoning Board of Adjustment approval in October 2020 for the construction of an eight-story 66-unit residential building with one lower level commercial retail area with two levels of parking on the site of a vacant warehouse and commercial space formerly a liquor store.
At its Dec. 7 meeting of this year, the Board of Commissioners approved the resolution unanimously to move the proposed location to what will likely be the ground floor retail for the mixed-use residential and commercial redevelopment planned for 9001 River Road. The measure also voids the previous approval for 1600 Tonnelle Ave., a commercial area off of the major local thoroughfare.
The move comes as the township has created a new commercial zoning district along the west side of River Road, from Bulls Ferry Road to the Edgewater border. In this zone, 9001 River Road is included as is the permitted use of cannabis establishments, paving the way for the location change.
After the meeting, Township Administrator Janet Castro told the Hudson Reporter that this was Green House seeking to open in a different location from what the township previously approved. “It’s not an additional license,” Castro said.
Now the business will need state approval before it can open. That means the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approving the dispensary’s application for a retail license as well.
According to Castro, this was the last of the cannabis businesses seeking to open in North Bergen getting local approval. She said all others already have both local and state approvals.
Preparing for the fledgling cannabis industry in North Bergen
In March, North Bergen approved two resolutions of support for the applications submitted by cannabis businesses seeking to open dispensaries in the township. The township’s ordinances regarding cannabis establishments limit it to two retail dispensaries, one north of 43rd Street and the other south of it.
This brings the total to six licenses sought for five businesses in the township, with two licenses each for retail, manufacturing and cultivation so far. This includes: Daily Muse for a Class 5 cannabis retail location at 6901 Tonnelle Ave.; Alb Labs, LLC for both a Class 2 cannabis manufacturer location and a Class 1 cannabis cultivator location at 2011 8th St. off of Tonnelle Avenue; Happy Hour Extracts for a Class 2 cannabis manufacturer location at 6901 Tonnelle Ave.; CYOUR NJ, LLC for a Class 1 cannabis cultivator location for both medical and recreational cannabis at 2600 71st St.
“Most of them have been approved by the state,” Castro said. She noted that is in addition to the now-pending second retail license that is for Green House. “I think they pretty much all have been approved,” she said.
According to Castro, Green House was the last to receive approval from the municipality. While that needs state approval now, the others have received all approvals and can move forward with opening.
“Now it’s just going about the route of construction, if that requires any depending on the location,” Castro said. “If they want to do any work and it requires a variance of sort, then they’d have to go back to the Zoning Board or Planning Board.”
However, its not clear when any of the facilities will open in the township. Castro said she had no idea yet.
“I don’t know the timeline yet,” Castro said. Regardless, North Bergen cannabis facilities are working their way toward opening.
Meanwhile, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus has gotten the state’s approval to expand from medical cannabis sales only to now include recreational cannabis sales. Soon, stoners will be able enjoy the high of cannabis products purchased at dispensaries locally in Hudson County.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.