• Jersey City is Getting its First-Ever Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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    Jersey City is getting its first-ever medical marijuana dispensary after the Redevelopment Agency puff-puff-passed a plan to build a facility on Edward Hart Road in JC. The plan was approved on July 16th and states that at the dispensary, marijuana — used for medicinal purposes — can be grown and then sold to people with viable medical marijuana cards.

    Nuka Properties LLC is responsible for developing the property, which is right up their alley. After all, this isn’t Nuka Properties’ first rodeo with the weed biz. Nuka is linked to 1906 edibles, an edible marijuana company based in Colorado that’s known for some pretty gnarly cannabis-chocolates.

    “We are designing it in a way that’s highly transparent that will offer tours to patients, doctors, regulators, and others to take them through what a cultivation and manufacturing facility is like that operates the highest the pharmaceutical grade standard,” said Nuka CEO Peter Barsoom, who grew up in Jersey City. Keep reading to learn all about the first-ever medical marijuana dispensary coming to Jersey City.

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    The Buzz Around the Dispensary

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    Barsoom went on to say that construction is expected to start at some point in early 2020. However, Nuka Properties is still waiting on a license from the state. Barsoom says he expects to have the license by this upcoming December.

    Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, however, didn’t paint as positive a picture. “It’s a long way before anyone knows if they get a license,” Fulop said, according to NJ.com.

    Fulop is a proponent of marijuana legalization but stressed that the facility has a long way to go. As of right now, the potential for a dispensary is causing a bit of a buzz {no pun intended} but Fulop wants to remind us that so far, only a private transfer of property has happened as of yet. There are still many steps that need to be taken before the dispensary becomes a reality. Fulop is an advocate for marijuana legalization and also expressed his pleasure at the number of local jobs the facility would create.

    “We chose Jersey City because it’s the best place to operate in,” Barsoom continues. “We are very excited to enter the New Jersey market.”

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    Marijuana Legalization in New Jersey

    Now, if you have been following the ongoing saga of marijuana legalization in the State of New Jersey, then you know that this past July, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law to continue developing New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. That bill-signing comes a year and a half after Jersey City first proposed the decriminalization of marijuana-related offenses.

    Governor Murphy has been an avid proponent for the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey and since he took office in January, NJ has added more than 30,000 patients to its medical marijuana program.

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    The bill Murphy signed in July sought to expand the State’s medical marijuana program, adding significantly more medical marijuana providers to the list of providers, which as of right now, totals at six. Murphy’s signing of the bill seems to be a direct response to the recent failure to pass recreational marijuana, which you may remember “died” at the Statehouse in Trenton back in March 2019.

    Back in March, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and state Senator Nicholas Scutari called off a vote to legalize recreational marijuana. At the time, Sweeney said, “We’ll be back at this. So, anybody who thinks this is dead, they’re wrong.”

    So, you see, it’s not “dead” forever. Just for right now. However, something weedy this way will eventually come again, as the called-off vote will pop up again come November 2020. At that time, the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana will be decided in a ballot referendum.

    The JC Dispensary

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    Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming: medical marijuana and the upcoming Jersey City dispensary. Under the dispensary’s current plan, five percent of revenue will be allotted for research and another five percent will be “reinvested into the community,” according to Barsoom.

    Barsoom’s plan also includes hiring people who were previously convicted of crimes related to marijuana convictions. The facility will also offer industry training for new employees.

    And that’s not all — rest assured, Jersey City residents, Barsoom also has his eye on what’s going on with recreational marijuana in New Jersey. In fact, Barsoom maintains that once recreational weed is approved, the dispensary will open up its doors to all, not just those who have a medical marijuana card.

    “Once recreational passes, we will definitely offer our products to all people,” Barsoom continued.

    As it stands now, the closest medical marijuana dispensary is located in Secaucus.

    What’s your take on Jersey City’s first medical marijuana dispensary? Comment below!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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