The Jersey City Council approved three adult-use cannabis dispensary resolutions for MMD NJ Inc, Bloom, and WR Wellness last night.
Municipal resolutions granted by the City Council are the last step of the local licensing process in Jersey City after the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) and Planning Board.
The CCB is supposed to be the first step, but because the city was delayed launching it, several applications were first approved by the Planning Board.
Previously, a letter of support from the mayor was considered sufficient. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who has fully supported the implementation of adult-use cannabis legalization, endorsed some companies in that fashion already.
MMD NJ Inc. is a Californian company with 13 locations, including some in Missouri. It is owned by Steve and Michael Ashbel and a local junior partner, Shirley Capaldo. Blossom Dispensary is owned by a local Indian family, Bina, Jay, and Sapna Bhatt. WR Wellness is owned by Wendy Topkis and Rebecca Katz, who are from New York City, with a local junior partner, Leany Pichardo.
UFCW labor union leader Hugh Giordano spoke in support of two of the three adult-use cannabis dispensary resolutions, WR Wellness and MMD NJ Inc. since they signed Labor Peace Agreement (LPAs) which will allow their workers to form a labor union without the companies interfering in the process, which is the norm.
He said they represent workers at whiskey and rum facilities and never give underage people drinks.
Council President Joyce Watterman said she wanted the council to know a micro business is not required to sign an LPA.
Laura Moss of the Hilltop Neighborhood Association near Journal Square said the MMD dispensary, which would be nearby at 655 Newark Ave, was active in soliciting their support. Moss said the city needed more adult-use dispensaries like them.
Andres Lorenz opposed the WR Wellness adult-use cannabis dispensary at 150 Bay Street in the downtown Powerhouse District. He likened the highly regulated and licensed dispensary to an Organized Crime operation that could bring violence.
Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh congratulated MMD NJ Inc along with Blossom Dispensary, saying, “They have my support.”
“I hope that they do a little more community outreach,” he added about WR Wellness.
“The voters of Jersey City overwhelming approved recreational marijuana. We’re going to engage in tax and oversight to make sure these businesses abide by the rules. I think we should have a high standard of scrutiny when we object to an application,” Solomon said before supporting all three resolutions.
Three adult-use cannabis dispensary municipal resolutions for Blossom, MMD Inc, and WR Wellness passed 7-0-1 with Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano abstaining and At Large Councilman Daniel Rivera absent.
“With 15 years of experience in safe, legal, and regulated cannabis sales, MMD is excited to set the bar for retail cannabis in Jersey City. We look forward to being long-term community partners with the stakeholders of this great city!” said MMD majority owner Steve Ashbel.