Terrapin is seeking to block the opening of Harmony’s Hoboken dispensary satellite which has the go-ahead to open soon.
Hoboken Dispensary Issues
Peter Marcus, a spokesman for Terrapin said the lawsuit doesn’t fundamentally block Harmony from opening. He said it asks the court to decide whether Harmony must go through the Medical Marijuana Review Board, as required under the city’s ordinance
Marcus said Harmony is arguing that because they started the process before the Review Board was in place, they are not subject to the process.
Harmony, which has received approval for its Hoboken dispensary sattletilite, does not seem daunted by the suit.
“Harmony looks forward to pursuing plans for its new medical cannabis dispensary as unanimously approved by the Hoboken Planning Board,” said Harmony CEO Shaya Brodchandel.
“We’re unsure whether Harmony has the final approvals from the state on the satellite location. Regardless, it’s an older provision in the regulations that sort of allows them to backdoor into Hoboken without a community impact plan,” Marcus said.
Thus, there might be a legitimate issue here for a judge to review.
Terrapin spent a great deal of time building connections with socially minded groups in the area.
“The city was deliberate in requiring accountability through the Medical Marijuana Review Board so as to only ensure the best actors open in the city. Harmony is attempting to circumvent that process, which we feel is a disservice to the people of Hoboken,” said Marcus.
Terrapin is a Multi-State Operator (MSO) with a massive growng operation in PA. Harmony, unlike Terrapin and most dispensaries in New Jersey, is not an MSO.
“Even though the awarding of licenses due to the state lawsuit has delayed the process, the tenets of community impact are still paramount to the process. That’s why we wanted to wait until we had definitive plans before announcing, even though this has been a three-year process for us,” Marcus said.
“We’re all about competition. But there should be a level playing field,” Marcus said. “If one company leaves a black eye on the city, then it impacts all of us. The Medical Marijuana Review Board was created to ensure that only the best actors enter the city.”
Marcus also pointed out there has been little focus on community impact from the industry that wants a Hoboken dispensary, which many believe correlates with other issues.
Terrapin will be seeking approval for their dispensary from the city’s Zoning Board in October.
Cannabis Lawsuits Galore
All the cannabis-related rep tape is new and enacted in-part to make criminal cannabis seem like a choirboy. No one seems to know what’s they’re doing until they finish doing it. And do one wants to admit a mistake, especially the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), even for actions under Chris Christie. Too much seems to be at stake to admit a mistake.
Lawsuits are a popular way to stop competition in cannabis. The now Acreage controlled Botanist sued MPX/iAnthus for trying to a dispensary in Atlantic City. In addition, a lawsuit from disgruntled applicants from 2018 and 2019 are holding up 24 licenses from being announced. Their lawsuit claims the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) made egregious mistakes in the vetting and scoring process.
The NJDOH, which didn’t settle the suit, has preached “competition” (and not homegrow) as the answer to the ridiculous process and sub-par quality of NJ clinical cannabis. Yet because of lawsuits, there is very little competition for the dispensaries. Most people can’t drive two hours for moderately better prices.
At this rate, every company is going to sue every other company opening a dispensary for not putting periods in the right place. It then becomes an arms race of who can wait out and spend money on good lawyers. Suits in that vein make suits based on more serious issues look bad. Throw out your Econ 101 books with most of the other principles that went out the door years ago, or became confined to games and fiction.
There are now 12 dispensaries operating in New Jersey for the 86,000 MMJ patients in New Jersey.