A brick building on the outskirts of Downtown could become a trailblazing facility (sorry, we had to) as a prominent medicinal marijuana company is looking to bring Jersey City its initial pot dispensary.
Just in time for marijuana’s unofficial holiday, Secaucus-based Harmony Foundation has filed an application to open inside of a two-story building at 227 Coles Street. Currently home to a Moishe’s Moving Systems outpost, Harmony is working with New York-based design firm Wolfgang & Hite to overhaul the space into a dispensary that spans about 16,000 square feet.
Harmony’s potential Jersey City location has a 2,200-square-foot office included in the plans, which were submitted to officials on April 9. While the building has a parking lot directly adjacent, the company’s application simply writes “n/a” as to the number of parking spaces they will provide under the plans.
The project will be asking for a “c” variance from existing zoning related to a loading requirement under local ordinances. While the planning board will need to sign off on the application, Jersey City does not currently have any restrictions on where medical marijuana dispensaries can potentially open.
The city council did enact a law in January that places a 2% tax on all medicinal marijuana sales, with the revenue from such transactions being directed toward affordable housing efforts.
Jersey City qualifies as an “impact zone” under New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission thanks to its population. That distinction allows the commission to prioritize applications for cities with more than 120,000 residents and state approval would be needed to open the proposed Jersey City dispensary.
The Coles Street property lies just north of Hamilton Park and is surrounded by two elevated highways. The neighborhood to the north of the proposed dispensary is one of the fastest-growing areas in all of Jersey City, with over 3,000 housing units and a new park either planned or under construction.
New Jersey’s state legislature voted to legalize recreational marijuana in February, but infrastructure to approve non-medicinal dispensaries is still being worked out in Trenton. As a result, any dispensaries that open in the meantime can only sell cannabis for medicinal purposes to qualified customers.
Harmony has been busy in the last year, winning approvals to open what would be Hoboken’s first medical cannabis dispensary along Hudson Street. While construction has begun, the effort hit a snag due to a lawsuit filed by a competing company that wishes to open its own dispensary about a block away. A judge recently ruled that Harmony will need to go before Hoboken’s newly-established Medical Cannabis Review Board before they open the dispensary.