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High Rollers in Atlantic City & Blue Violets in Hoboken Open Dispensaries

High Rollers dispensary in Atlantic City and the micro dispensary Blue Violets in Hoboken have opened for legal New Jersey adult-use cannabis sales.

High Rollers Dispensary Opens in Atlantic City

The High Rollers dispensary recently opened in Atlantic City in the Claridge Hotel close to their legendary boardwalk.

It has a unique environment that includes chandeliers. They also have illuminated glass jars where you could sell the weed they were selling.

Atlantic City cannabis High Rollers dispensary

Unlike some dispensaries, they had some cannabis culture Cheech & Chong and Grateful Dead paraphernalia.

Notably, High Rollers has infused chocolate edibles from the new independent manufacturer Jersey Canna, flower from the newer local cultivator Gardens Greens, and Pyramid Pen vapes from the small corporate Multi-State Operator (MSO) Loud Labs.

The small range of cannabis products has led many to complain.

High Rollers won its conversion to an annual license needed to open in December 2023 from the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC.)

Jon Cohn is the CEO of Agronomed Capital which funded and owns the part of High Rollers.

Atlantic City Cannabis Lounge Plans

The announcement by High Rollers that they want a lounge made big news in March 2023.

New Jersey cannabis lounges have been anticipated since 2021. However, the NJCRC did not address them in its initial set of rules. The final rules were established earlier this year. But, the NJCRC still has to open the application process.

Cohen noted they are eager to open a consumption lounge. However, the business model is tougher since they can’t sell drinks for cottonmouth or food for munchies.

One option is walling it off and making it a private member only lounge.

“I’d rather see if it makes sense in the Jersey markets,” Cohn explained.

However, since people waited four years to buy legal weed brownies, it could still happen.

They originally built the dispensary in the Claridge Hotel to deliver weed like room service and utilize the kitchen for the lounge. But Cohn said the NJCRC insisted they needed to go in and out of a car to make a delivery.

Pennsylvania Cannabis Company Comes to Jersey and Finds a Partner

Cohen noted they partnered with a minority candidate to open the dispensary. Fifty-one percent is owned by the African American Kirkland Family. The NJCRC sent Andrew Kirkland of Gibbsboro the conditional license winner letter in September 2022.

Denise Kirkland and Cohn appeared before the NJ Casino Redevelopment Development Authority (CRDA) to get approval to open. Atlantic City cannabis dispensaries need approval from the CRDA, which has a lot of power there.

Before entering the New Jersey cannabis market, Cohn ran Agri-kind, which operated cultivation and manufacturing licenses in the Pennsylvania medical cannabis market. Initially, the market there went well.

“It became an MSO market. They owned all the shelf space,” he noted.

Verano bought most of the company in 2021.

“They made us a deal we couldn’t really refuse,” Cohn explained. “I don’t have anything against them. We just couldn’t compete in the market. We’re more focused on craft.”

“We’re all about medicine,” he declared.

They kept a part of the business to work on medical cannabis science with Drexel University as a Clinical Registrant.

Separately from High Rollers Cohn is launching the Agri Kind brand in New Jersey as a licensed manufacturer.

*Passionate Cannabis Enthusiast Owner

“I’ve been a cannabis user my whole life,” Cohn declared.

He explained he also watched cannabis legalization closely since California legalized medical cannabis in the 90s.

“It’s something I’ve always believed in,” Cohn added. “A lot of people don’t realize they’re self-medicating.”

He explained he had a background as a Management Consultant and in financial services before getting into cannabis. Cohn is from West Chester, PA close to the Jersey border.

Competitive Atlantic City Cannabis Developing

High Rollers thought Atlantic City would be a good place as a tourist and business convention destination.

Atlantic City needs redevelopment badly and is betting cannabis can help with that. Most of the hotel/casinos created environments where they want you to stay to eat, shop, gamble, party, and sleep without going outside. So it’s not like going into one big store and then popping into a little store nearby like in a downtown/main street commercial district.

But they’re not allowed to touch cannabis due to regulation.

Atlantic City is also going to allow six cannabis dispensaries could make the competition intense.

The large MSO iAnthus/MPX already has a modest-sized dispensary off the boardwalk.

Sunnytien, which also wants a lounge, and Bakin’ Bud dispensaries have also opened recently and will be profiled by Heady NJ in the future.

No adult-use cannabis dispensaries are allowed on the boardwalk itself. The large MSO, the Botanist, does sell medical cannabis only there. Some of the boardwalk gift shops sell Delta-8 THC hemp products that get you high.

Atlantic City is one of the few shore towns that allows dispensaries.

Blue Violets Dispensary Opens in Hoboken Despite Odds

Despite strong opposition, Max and Lauren Thompson have opened their micro Blue Violets dispensary in Hoboken in Hudson County.

Blue Violets dispensary Hoboken cannabis

Hoboken Democratic Chair and At Large Councilman Joe Quintero posted on Instagram he bought adult-use cannabis from them during their first appointment. 

Blue Violets dispensary has been open on an appointment-only basis partially to calm fears that a wild crowd would disturb the peace of those who don’t like the city’s reputation as a hard-drinking party place.

Due to a lawsuit against them, they have ordered only a few products from the large MSO Ascend’s Ozone brand and a small batch from the independent cultivator Hamilton Farms.

Lawsuit Hurts Locally Owned Micro Dispensary

Due to the lawsuit looming over their heads, no Grand Opening is currently being planned.

“We have no idea if we’ll be able to stay here or not. We just take it day by day and do the best we can,” Max explained.

Lauren explained that it’s unclear when the lawsuit will be resolved.

“We still need them (the council) to change that school distance,” she noted. “There’s no way getting around that.”

One court ruled against them, and they appealed. The judge granted a “stay” allowing the case to open. So, they made progress in a lawsuit. But the court could still ultimately rule against them.

Because of that, Max noted he has not left his job and they have not hired anyone yet.  

Large Corporate MSO Opposition Hurts Little Guys

It was trench warfare nearly to open the Blue Violets dispensary. They had to overcome great opposition generated due to the small MSO Story dispensary.

Story made a deal with the physical therapy business to open in a location they owned. Jaclyn Fulop, wife of Jersey City Mayor and 2025 candidate for Governor Steve Fulop, partially owns the physical therapy business.

Locals thought there would be a physical therapy clinic there versus a dispensary. They claimed the former tavern there was “sleepy” versus a loud bar. Many did not want more traffic and noise nearby. So, the idea of a dispensary caused a massive local backlash.

Political Opposition Seizes on Anti-Cannabis Sentiment

To make matters worse, Story did not seem to do any public outreach to calm the opposition. So, many Planning Board meetings lasting hours over several months were held. They disintegrated into lawyers arguing over the definition of a tavern like children.

Story dispensary hired the law firm of former US Senator Jeff Chiesa to secure local approval which they ultimately got after months of meetings.

But opportunists on the city council seized on the backlash and restricted cannabis after the initial ordinance had no caps and included lounges. Former council candidate and activist Liz Urtecho has been leading the opposition.

City Councilmembers claimed ignorance of the initial law they voted for and passed unanimously in August 2021.

Hoboken imposed a cap of six dispensaries and longer distance requirements from schools.

Blue Violets was then too close to a school. The ordinance was changed when they were in the middle of the Planning Board approval process. 

Hoboken politicians are divided between those who like Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who is running for Congress and cannabis, and those who oppose him and dislike cannabis. The opposition to Bhalla and cannabis prefers Congressman Rob Menendez Jr. (D-NJ-8), son of Senator Bob Menendez, who has been accused of massive corruption.

Despite the politics, Blue Violets still won Planning Board approval in 2022.

Long Road for Mom and Pop Business

Lauren, an Asian American nurse, is the majority owner. Her husband, Max, is a lawyer. They live in neighboring Weehawken. The Thompsons went all in to open Blue Violets. They used a lot of their life savings.

Notably, they have not made a deal with an outside investor. Max noted that most offer bad terms. Plus, since they have already made it so far, they are eager to reap the benefits of doing so.

Like all other de facto mom-and-pops that have been successful, the Thompsons have been very politically active, including speaking at council meetings against the restrictive ordinance.

Also, like many others Max was critical of the massive power towns have in the process. But this has been a fact of Jersey politics for more than 100 years.

The NJCRC granted them the annual dispensary license needed to open in February 2023. They got their conditional license in October 2022.

Hoboken Cannabis Dispensaries

While the now-defunct Harmony dispensary lost its local approval, the small MSO with a minority local owner, the Station dispensary, opened downtown by the Hoboken train station.

Blue Violets is uptown so they are not concerned with competition. Max explained many uptown locals would prefer their convenience. 

But they are fairly close to The Village of Hoboken dispensary owned by Viola and NBA star Al Harrington which is also opening soon.

Nonetheless, despite the massive opposition and the odds against them, Blue Violets is the little engine that could and has succeeded so far. They could inspire others.

Where is a New Jersey Cannabis Dispensary Near Me?

The following list is an approximate reflection of which New Jersey adult-use cannabis dispensary opened when and partially alphabetically.

  1. Ascend 395 BLOOMFIELD AVE MONTCLAIR Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  2. Ascend 174 ROUTE 17 NORTH ROCHELLE PARK -Rochelle-Park  Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  3. Ascend 461-469 WEST STATE STREET FORT LEE Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  4. Ayr Wellness (formerly Garden State Dispensary) 950 US 1 NORTH WOODBRIDGE Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  5. Ayr Wellness 59 MAIN ST EATONTOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  6. Ayr Wellness 2536 RT 22 UNION Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  7. Apothecarium Dispensary 55 SOUTH MAIN ST. PHILLIPSBURG Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  8. Apothecarium Dispensary 1865 SPRINGFIELD AVENUE MAPLEWOOD Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  9. Apothecarium Dispensary200 NJ-17 LODI Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  10. BLOC 1075 EASTON AVE SOMERSET Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  11. BLOC 501 US-9 WARETOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  12. BLOC 1761 NORTH OLDEN AVENUE EWING Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  13. The Botanist 100 CENTURY DRIVE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  14. The Botanist 2090 N BLACKHORSE PIKE WILLIAMSTOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  15. RISE 196 3RD AVENUE #3-C PATERSON Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  16. RISE 26-48 BLOOMFIELD AVE BLOOMFIELD Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  17. The Cannabist 1062 NORTH DELSEA DRIVE VINELAND Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  18. The Cannabist 1692 CLEMENTS BRIDGE RD DEPTFORD Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  19. Curaleaf 191 RTE 130 BORDENTOWN Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  20. Curaleaf 640 CREEK ROAD BELLMAWR Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  21. Curaleaf 4237 US-130 South EDGEWATER PARK Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  22. Zen Leaf 117 SPRING STREET ELIZABETH Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  23. Zen Leaf 3256 BRUNSWICK PIKE LAWRENCE TWP. Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  24. Zen Leaf 2100 ROUTE 66 NEPTUNE Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  25. MPX NJ 153 S. NEW YORK AVENUE ATLANTIC CITY Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  26. MPX NJ 5035 CENTRAL HWY PENNSAUKEN / Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  27. MPX NJ 581 BERLIN-CROSS KEYS ROAD SICKLERVILLE Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  28. Valley Wellness 407 US-202 RARITAN Medicinal and Recreational.
  29. Aunt Mary’s Dispensary  100 REAVILLE AVE. SUITE 211 FLEMINGTON Medicinal and Recreational.
  30. NJ Leaf 546 PARK AVENUE FREEHOLD Medicinal and Recreational.
  31. downtown FLWR 141 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY Medicinal and Recreational.
  32. RIPT 220 BROADWAY JERSEY CITY Medicinal and Recreational.
  33. Daylite Cannabis 1136 ROUTE 73 MOUNT LAUREL / Recreational cannabis only.
  34. Design 710 112 PARK PLACE ATLANTIC CITY Medicinal and Recreational.
  35. Eastern Green 78 ROUTE 73 VOORHEES / Medicinal and Recreational.
  36. Brute’s Roots 6206 BLACK HORSE PIKE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP Medicinal and Recreational.
  37. Garden State Botanicals 1345 US-1 NORTH BRUNSWICK Medicinal and Recreational.
  38. Garfield Gardens Dispensary (formerly Yuma Way) 517 RIVER DRIVE GARFIELD Medicinal and Recreational MSO
  39. URB’N Dispensary 378 SOUTH ST NEWARK Medicinal and Recreational.
  40. Holistic Solutions LLC 451 WHITE HORSE PIKE ATCO Medicinal and Recreational.
  41. HoneyGrove 1337 BLACKWOOD-CLEMENTON ROAD GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP Medicinal and Recreational.
  42. Sweet Spot 903 WHITE HORSE ROAD, SUITE 2 VOORHEES Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  43. Earth & Ivy 355 GEORGE STREET NEW BRUNSWICK Recreational cannabis only.
  44. Nova Farms 642 MANTUA AVENUE WOODBURY Recreational cannabis only MSO.
  45. Social Leaf, The 334 ATLANTIC CITY BOULEVARD SOUTH TOMS RIVER Recreational cannabis only.
  46. Union Chill 204 N UNION ST, #108 LAMBERTVILLE Recreational cannabis only.
  47. Cookies Harrison 331 ANGELO CIFELLI DRIVE HARRISON Recreational cannabis only MSO.
  48. Leaf Haus 900 EASTON AVENUE, SUITE 18 SOMERSET Recreational cannabis only.
  49. New Era Dispensary 80-88 MAIN STREET SOUTH BOUND BROOK / Recreational cannabis only.
  50. Puffin Store 382 GEORGE STREET NEW BRUNSWICK Recreational cannabis only.
  51. Queen City Remedies 1353 SOUTH AVE PLAINFIELD Recreational cannabis only.
  52. Molly Ann Farms 256 BELMONT AVENUE HALEDON / Recreational cannabis only.
  53. A21 Wellness 2507 US HIGHWAY 22 SCOTCH PLAINS Recreational cannabis only.
  54. Elevated by TheCannaBossLady 9 HIGHLAND PLACE MAPLEWOOD Recreational cannabis only.
  55. Garden Greenz 190 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only.
  56. The Cannabis Place 1544 JOHN F. KENNEDY BOULEVARD JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only MSO.
  57. Baked by the River 8 CHURCH STREET LAMBERTVILLE Recreational cannabis only.
  58. Camden Apothecary 1205 HADDON AVENUE CAMDEN Recreational cannabis only.
  59. 1634 Funk 394 COMMUNIPAW AVENUE JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only.
  60. Cloud Nine Dispensary 513-27 ROUTE 22 NORTH PLAINFIELD Recreational cannabis only.
  61. Anja 225 WOODBRIDGE AVENUE HIGHLAND PARK Recreational cannabis only.
  62. Mountain View Farmacy 74 OAK RIDGE ROAD WEST MILFORD Recreational cannabis only.
  63. Indigo 302 CRESCENT BOULEVARD BROOKLAWN Recreational cannabis only.
  64. Organic Farms 2895 MOUNT EPHRAIM AVENUE CAMDEN Recreational cannabis only.
  65. Unity Rd. Cannabis Shop 441 ELIZABETH AVE SOMERSET Recreational cannabis only MSO.
  66. Evolve Cannabis 186 US-130 BORDENTOWN Recreational cannabis only.
  67. Kind Kush 279 US-46 ROCKAWAY Recreational cannabis only.
  68. Elevated Herb 1846 ROUTE 23 WEST MILFORD Recreational cannabis only.
  69. High Street Dispensary 811 HIGH STREET HACKETTSTOWN Recreational cannabis only.
  70. Highway 90 90 OLD MARLTON PIKE WEST EVESHAM Recreational cannabis only.
  71. Med Leaf 201 PHILADELPHIA AVENUE EGG HARBOR CITY Recreational cannabis only.
  72. Noire Dispensary 171 MAPLEWOOD AVE MAPLEWOOD Recreational cannabis only.
  73. Phasal 1100 N BLACK HORSE PIKE RUNNEMEDE Recreational cannabis only MSO.
  74. Phula 60-62 HIGH STREET MOUNT HOLLY Recreational cannabis only.
  75. Nightjar 549 BLOOMFIELD AVENUE BLOOMFIELD Recreational cannabis only.
  76. Hackettstown Dispensary 321 MOUNTAIN AVENUE HACKETTSTOWN Recreational cannabis only.
  77. Hello High 7685 BLACK HORSE PIKE HAMMONTON Recreational cannabis only.
  78. Royal M 102A E FRONT ST PLAINFIELD Recreational cannabis only.
  79. Shore House Canna 124 SUNSET BLVD WEST CAPE MAY Recreational cannabis only.
  80. Hashery 409 NJ-17 HACKENSACK Recreational cannabis only.
  81. Soulflora 2713 NJ ROUTE 23, SUITE 5A NEWFOUNDLAND Recreational cannabis only.
  82. Terrapin Investment Fund “The Station” 86 RIVER ST. HOBOKEN Medicinal and Recreational MSO.
  83. Fire and Oak 5 WASHINGTON STREET MOUNT HOLLY Recreational cannabis only.
  84. Joy Leaf 711 EAST 1ST AVENUE ROSELLE Recreational cannabis only.
  85. The Leaf Joint  391 CENTRAL AVE, GROUND FLOOR JERSEY CITY Recreational cannabis only.
  86. Voltaire NJ 47 MILL STREET MOUNT HOLLY Recreational cannabis only.
  87. Dank Poet Dispensary 245 E WASHINGTON AVE WASHINGTON Recreational cannabis only.
  88. Cannabis Clubhouse 70-72 E MAIN STREET SUSSEX Recreational cannabis only.
  89. Blue Oak Dispensary 1025 Broad St, BLOOMFIELD, NJ 07003 Recreational cannabis only.
  90. Plantabis 2077 US-1, Rahway, NJ 07065 Recreational cannabis only
  91. High Profile LAKEHURST Recreational cannabis only 145 NJ-70, Lakehurst, NJ 08733 MSO.
  92. Township Green 15 Scott St Riverside NJ Recreational cannabis only.
  93. Golden Door Dispensary 638 Newkirk Jersey City Recreational cannabis only.
  94. Pure Blossom 2554 PENNINGTON ROAD Hopewell Recreational cannabis only.
  95. Jersey Roots West Milford Recreational cannabis only.
  96. Natural Apothecary 27 Washington Ave Belleville Recreational cannabis only.
  97. Gynsyng Dispensary 14 S Center St Merchantville Recreational cannabis only.
  98. OHM Theory Elmwood Park Recreational cannabis only.
  99. Lemon 22 in Scotch Plains Recreational cannabis only.
  100. Jersey Meds in Pennington Recreational cannabis only.
  101. High Rollers in Atlantic City Recreational cannabis only.
  102. Blue Violets in Hoboken Recreational cannabis only.

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