Despite a heated debate over legalized marijuana dispensaries that has engulfed planning board meetings and city council sessions, Hoboken has officially given full approvals for a micro-dispensary dubbed Blue Violets to be located along their main street.
Last week, Hoboken’s council approved a resolution by a 5-4 vote in support of an application for Blue Violets at 628 Washington Street. The move followed the planning board signing off on the proposal earlier this summer and comes just about two years after New Jersey residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis by an over 2-to-1 margin.
Blue Violets is co-founded by Lauren Chang and Maxwell Thompson, who are married college sweethearts and Weehawken residents. Their mission is “to become one of New Jersey’s finest cannabis dispensaries through our focus on exceptional product quality, unique consumer education, and positive community impact.”
While some have welcomed the news that the 628 Washington Street space will finally be filled after inexplicably sitting vacant for several years, the application for Blue Violets was not without controversy. A petition was launched against the business stemming from objections to the dispensary’s location near both Hoboken Charter School and All Saints Episcopal Day School.
Hoboken did amend its rules regarding cannabis dispensaries earlier this year requiring applicants to be located at least 600 feet away from schools, but initial laws passed before New Jersey voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana did not include such a requirement.
Blue Violet’s application was submitted before the city’s new regulations took effect, causing the planning board to determine that they were subject to the old rules. The approved dispensary is about a block away from the schools and falls just six doors down from Hoboken Smoke Shop, which displays its bongs prominently in their storefront windows.
Blue Violets now await their state licensing and have created a website and Instagram account at the handle @bluevioletsdispensary. The business could be the city’s first dispensary of any kind when they open, as Hoboken’s medicinal-only Harmony Dispensary and Terrapin facilities are still under construction.
The approval of Blue Violets comes about a month before the planning board could finally make a decision on the controversial Story Dispensary application on 14th and Hudson Streets, which was also submitted under the previous regulations. Per the Hudson Reporter, the board is scheduled to review the application on November 1 following a marathon meeting earlier this month that lasted over six hours.