A cannabis oasis: Freehold moving forward with new legal weed outlets

March 30, 2023 · Yahoo!News

When New Jersey approved legal recreational marijuana in 2020, more than 70% of borough voters cast ballots in favor of the idea.

Now they’re getting their wish as the first medicinal marijuana shop has opened in town just days after state officials approved what will be the borough’s first recreational, or adult use, dispensary.

“The people of the community voted overwhelmingly for the sale of recreational marijuana, we are only following the will of the people,” said Borough Administrator Steve Gallo. “These are tightly controlled businesses, serious regulations and we don’t anticipate any problems.”

NJ Leaf, which opened March 15 at 546 Park Ave., is licensed as a medicinal marijuana location. But Gallo expects the owners to seek a broader, retail license.

“We are proud to be able to provide safe, legal access to medical cannabis for those in need. This project is very close to my heart – a lot of sacrifice went into this,” NJ Leaf CEO Ritesh Shah said at the recent opening. “I promise we won’t let you down and we will prove with our work that you have chosen a responsible partner.”

That opening occurred just a week after the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission granted state approval to Goldfinch Retail LLC, which is planning to open a recreational dispensary less than a block away at 620 Park Ave.

“The borough is awesome, it is small, it has incredible diversity and we could build something that is a beacon and we could set a different precedent,” said Christopher Sojka, co-owner of Goldfinch Retail, which plans to open before Christmas 2023. “We could have a destination store that could help reverse the stigma and bring people to the borough.”

Both outlets are the exception rather than the rule in Monmouth County, which has just two other recreational outlets currently operating — in Neptune and Eatontown. Most nearby communities have barred such outlets from opening despite most of their residents voting in favor of the dispensaries.

“We’re excited about having these weed manufacturers and retailers in the borough,” said council member Annette Jordan. “We got applications from the cream of the crop and dedicated to the community. The people are so well-trained and know exactly what is needed for any kind of ailment and it is a welcomed addition to our community.”’

Statewide only 35 dispensaries exist, with 10 providing medicinal-only sales so far.

Freehold Borough has been at the forefront of legalized cannabis sales since the first legislation approved such dispensaries.

Borough council members in recent years have approved up to eight different potential cannabis outlets, voting to allow two retail outlets, two medicinal outlets, two cultivation facilities, and two wholesalers.

So far, only NJ Leaf and Goldfinch have received state approval as retail outlets, while CSDE Manufacturing LLC has state approval for a cultivating business.

The local licenses run between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the specific type of permit and they do not guarantee a state license will be granted.

The borough receives 2.5% of all revenue collected at each site, said Gallo, who estimated “it could be several hundred thousand dollars per year.” (Full Story)

In categories:Dispensaries Medical
Next Post

Wethersfield’s police chief objected to recreational marijuana sales in town. Planners OK’d them anyway.

Even though Police Chief Rafael Medina warned of potential mental health concerns, traffic hazards and more, Wethersfield planners have set new rules that allow recreational marijuana shops in town. The decision is likely to draw applications from businesses that want to set…
Previous Post

6 Cannabis Retail Marketing Predictions for 2023

Cannabis marketing has reached a complicated point in history. The era of adult-use legalization is over a decade old, with more states coming online every year. But while the feds continue to drag their feet on reform, the cannabis industry…
Random Post

New Markets Within California Staggeringly Slow to Open

Across 15 theoretically legal markets in the state, only 18 of the possible 129 stores have opened. The California marijuana business landscape remains one of the toughest in the nation, and over the past three years one of the areas…
Random Post

Canadian Takeover of High Times Puts Company in the Hands of Discredited CEO

High Times has been sold to Victoria, BC-based psychedelics firm Lucy Scientific Discovery (for LSD) headed by disgraced Hollywood executive Richard Nanula. The news leaked out yesterday with a press release sent to a handful of media sources: Lucy Scientific Discovery Inc.…
Random Post

Alabama Medical Marijuana Licenses Start Going out Monday

Commission expects more lawsuits to be filed after the initial round. Alabama authorities are poised to begin doling out medical marijuana business permits as soon as Monday. Although it’s uncertain just how many licenses the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission will award next…
Random Post

California Cannabis Debt Bubble on Verge of Bursting

Wave of business failures is on the way if the debt bubble explodes. A slow but steady years-long trend of licensed marijuana companies in California not paying all of their bills might be nearing its climax, industry insiders warned, and…