Jersey City cannabis entrepreneur Christopher Broderick is the driving force behind the Legacy to Lifted dispensary opening soon.
The name “Legacy to Lifted” reflects his roots in the underground cannabis legacy market. Lifted is a synonym for getting high.
They expect to open in two to three months. They initially wanted to open before the holidays. Broderick said they’re waiting for permits and construction estimates to begin. They expect to open in January.
While he is a native of the Heights in the north of Jersey City and would have liked to be based there, Legacy to Lifted found a space on the West Side. They are likely to get a good amount of foot traffic. A new housing development nearby should help.
“This is great here. Hopefully, it gives me the opportunity to actually make some money back,” Broderick said.
He is a Social Equity New Jersey cannabis license candidate born and raised in Jersey City, making him a Goldilocks candidate, the type of person many New Jersey cannabis advocates want to see succeed. Broderick is also a family guy with two kids.
The NJ-CRC recently approved the Legacy to Lifted conversion application to an annual New Jersey cannabis license.
He came from a humble background.
“I didn’t have no role models. Sports always kept me… in school. It kept me straight and narrow,” Broderick explained.
He was the first-string football quarterback at Dickinson High School. Broderick learned leadership skills doing so.
Underground Legacy Operator
“It all starts with an O-Z in 06,” he joked.
Broderick smoked with his brother first and enjoyed it.
‘“The power of the plant really hit me. The euphoria of it. What it brings to you and your friend giggling for the first time. You never forget,” he said.
Broderick explained it was a way to make money when there were few other options.
“I found the downside of it also very quickly,” he said.
Broderick was arrested for marijuana-related crimes and was incarcerated for 27 months.
“I realized there wasn’t too much opportunities again for me, especially now that I’m a felon. I went back to cannabis again because it was what I knew. It was what I was good at,” Broderick said.
He also said he was passionate about cannabis, which kept him going.
“I just love the sourcing of good flower. When I open up a jar of weed and I go give it to someone to smell it… their face brightens up. That is my enjoyment,” Broderick explained.
“I just love the plant so much and was willing to keep fighting for it and knowing in the back of my head this would be legal and we would be laughing about it,” he noted.
Broderick is a serial entrepreneur. He launched a trucking company in 2018. Broderick dealt with a range of issues, including compliance starting it. While they had some problems, Broderick learned in the process. However, he said cannabis is more highly regulated.
“I gained a lot of skills from that. But retail is different than trucking,” he explained.
While doing so, he saved money for a license.
Jersey City’s Legacy to Lifted Dispensary Owner
Broderick always thought that New Jersey cannabis legalization would eventually pass.
“I loved the plant so much. So I kept fighting for it, knowing in the back of my head it was going to be legal, and we’re all going to laugh at this bull I went through,” he explained.
Gary George’s Real Cannabis Entrepreneur New Jersey cannabis conference in 2021 also inspired him since it had a speaker discussing “legacy to legal and reparations.” He remembered learning an important lesson from an Oregon operator.
“You have to be able to delegate. It’s all a learning curve. I never created an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) before,” Broderick noted.
It has been an almost three-year journey.
“Every day is a learning curve for me. I come from the legacy. Every step I’m learning. But I’m a faster learner,” he said.
“I would have been one of the first people in Jersey City to attempt to get their license. But dealing with predatory landlords, I got pushed around like three times. They raised the rent double last minute. I know my budget. I couldn’t afford it,” Broderick noted.
Underground legacy operations might provide cash, but it’s not sustainable long-term.
“Sooner or later, you have to be on the right side of the fence. If you’re on the wrong side of the fence, you’re just going to be dealing with headaches for the rest of your life,” Broderick noted. “I’m always pushing for people to transfer from legacy to legal. I’m always open to helping people.”
He plans to have a very friendly staff to persuade consumers to return.
“You walk in as a friend and leave as family,” Broderick said.
Politics and Community Minded
Broderick has gotten into Jersey City politics and philanthropy in the process of opening. He spoke well of Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey and Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea.
“All the councilmen been super great. It’s a blessing. Cause I never thought they would,” Broderick noted.
The Legacy to Lifted dispensary is also seeking to hire those in reentry programs through the nonprofit SCORES. He gave back to the community and donated money to the youth sports program Athletics for a Better Community (ABC).
They held an expungement clinic with attorney Mike Hoffman in October, where they helped 20 people.
“We had a couple people get expunged. It felt good knowing you helped someone,” Broderick noted.
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