Atlantic City is on track to be the location of the first legal cannabis consumption lounge in New Jersey with Sunnytien.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) approved a cannabis dispensary and consumption lounge at the location of a former supermarket. The pot dispensary and its cannabis lounge, operated by Sunnytien LLC, would be located at 3004 Atlantic Avenue.
The CRDA has authority over a great deal of prime Atlantic City real estate.
Sunnytien LLC has already secured other approvals. Their approved resolution was awarded by the Atlantic City Council on 4/20 earlier this year. They won a New Jersey adult-use cannabis dispensary license from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) in October.
According to their CRDA application, they are locally owned and operate with an Atlantic City address. The owners Zhi Tan of Atlantic City and Nhi Luu of Galloway, which is also in Atlantic County, are 50/50 partners.
Atlantic City is in dire need of tourism dollars in the wake of gambling becoming widespread across the United States at their expense.
What is Atlantic City’s Stance On Cannabis?
AC has embraced cannabis even before its legalization, given its reputation as a party town and an East Coast adult tourist destination.
However, the City Council’s official stance continues to be that marijuana use is prohibited on their famed Atlantic City Boardwalk.
But if you’ve been to Atlantic City over the last few years, it seems that the word isn’t out, because there is weed just about everywhere on the AC Boardwalk. One just needs to stroll along any given sunny day, and the smell will persist for your entire walk. It’s quite enjoyable actually.
Rekt Café, one of the de facto cannabis lounges in New Jersey, was based in Atlantic City before a forced closure. There are also several “head shops” on the AC Boardwalk.
Cannabis Lounges Progress
After a great delay, the NJRC recently issued long-awaited guidelines on cannabis lounges.
Atlantic City is one of only ten towns in New Jersey that Heady NJ is aware of that will allow cannabis lounges.
Jersey City is the other city that has been the most open to cannabis in New Jersey. They have dispensaries approved by the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) that also want lounges. The first was the Medusa Dispensary and Lounge, which the City Council OK’d along with the Planning Board. While opposition remains from St. Peter’s University, they received their city resolution this fall.
However, the Jersey City CCB has been waiting for the NJCRC to release guidance before OKing cannabis lounges. Instead, dispensaries gain approval separate from the cannabis lounges.
Jersey City might be a more pro-cannabis place than Atlantic City since it defeated a license cap.
Actually, the Act that legalized adult-use cannabis in NJ, the Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement and Marijuana Modernization Act (CREAMMA), bans cannabis lounges from selling any food or drinks. It cuts out a crucial possible revenue stream for cannabis lounges.
Some will likely get creative with nearby establishments. Partnership anyone?
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