cannabis lounges

The Hoboken Planning Board approved an ordinance that would allow cannabis lounges, making them the fourth municipality in the state to do so, following Atlantic City, Jersey City, and Highland Park.

The governing body sought to limit them to an enclosed indoor area separate from where the cannabis is being sold and must be ventilated in the fashion of a cigar lounge.

Additionally, they will allow cannabis lounges, adult-use and medical retailers, delivery companies, and wholesalers. However, no manufacturing cultivation or distribution licenses will be allowed

Hoboken and Cannabis Lounges

The second reading of the ordinance and its final passage by the Hoboken City Council is likely to occur on August 18th, just in time to meet the state’s August 21st deadline for towns to decide their cannabis policy. The ordinance passed on first reading in July.

“Every municipality in New Jersey is racing to do so at the same time,” noted Planning Board Counsel George Williams.

The lounges will be conditional subject to planning board review and space must be provided off the street for cannabis delivery vehicles to pick up their goods.

Cannabis companies will not be allowed in residential districts unless they obtain a variance exception from the planning board, Williams explained. Planning Board Chair Frank Magaletta sought to clarify this in the ordinance

The ordinance notes that prospective cannabis license applicants must obtain a community host letter from the Hoboken Cannabis Review Board, which was open to welcoming the Secaucus-based Harmony dispensary in April, a process that has been contentious.

Being mindful of parking issues in Hoboken, cannabis delivery vehicles will not be allowed overnight. In the same vein, waiting in line outside on the sidewalk will not be allowed since dispensaries must have sufficient space inside for their customers.

Medical dispensaries need to apply to sell adult-use and could be denied, while cannabis dispensaries must be at least 500 feet from each other. Furthermore, cannabis businesses can’t be mobile businesses.

Williams said Hoboken has consistently updated its own ordinance on the nuances, as well as that the cannabis ordinance is consistent with the city’s Master Plan.

The planning board ultimately approved the measure unanimously (9-0), as the Jersey City Planning Board did in June.

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