Home Events + News New Microdispensary, Blue Violets, Opens in Hoboken

New Microdispensary, Blue Violets, Opens in Hoboken

by Hoboken Girl Team
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It’s been a long time coming but uptown Hoboken’s microdispensary Blue Violets has quietly opened at 628 Washington Street. Husband and wife team Lauren Chang Thompson and Max Thompson have been working to open their shop for several months. The administrative stars aligned and they were able to open the store in time for April 20th, a widely acknowledged cannabis-centric ‘holiday’. Read on for more about Blue Violets’ path to opening in Hoboken, and what’s next for Max and Lauren.

Photo Credit: Blue Violets

Path to Opening

Many will recall that Blue Violets hit a major roadblock in fall 2023, when a Hudson County judge voided the Hoboken Planning Board’s 2022 approval of the team’s plans. The ruling came out of a lawsuit brought against Blue Violets by local activist group Hoboken for Responsible Cannabis (HRC).

The Hoboken Girl has previously covered the legal dispute, which is centered on Hoboken’s cannabis regulations governing how far away a dispensary must be from a school or daycare. The initial cannabis regulation adopted by the City of Hoboken prohibited dispensaries within 200 feet of any schools. Those regulations were adopted in August 2021. However, in April 2022, changes were made to the zoning principles applicable to cannabis locations and to the total number of cannabis dispensaries allowable in Hoboken. These are referred to as the ‘commonsense cannabis’ changes, per the description of the changes by Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla.

Read More: New Dispensary, Village Hoboken, Opening This Summer on Washington Street

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One provision in these updates was that the boundary around schools was increased to a 600-foot perimeter from the existing 200-foot perimeter. HRC’s argument was that Blue Violets’ application was not fully submitted until after the ‘commonsense’ regulations went into effect on April 28th, 2022.

Blue Violets’ application was approved in April 2022 by the Cannabis Review Board. Blue Violets submitted its application material to the Planning Board in April 2022, but there was no hearing on the matter until July 2022.

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The October 2023 ruling revoking the planning board approval meant that Blue Violets didn’t have the necessary paperwork to open its doors, even though everything was ready to go. The team appealed the decision.

In January 2024, Max and Lauren received notice of a judicial stay on the October 2023 ruling. A judicial stay is essentially a ‘rewind and pause’ button on the legal proceedings. In this case, part of the stay reinstated the Hoboken Planning Board’s approval of Blue Violets. Meaning, the store could open while the rest of the appeal is addressed.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” Lauren said. “The final ruling could go against us, or the stay could be revoked, so we’re just trying to do our best in the meantime.” Lauren went on to say that the real issue is still out there. “What we really need is for Hoboken to address the discrepancy in the law regarding the school distance rules and how the distance is measured.” This topic was scheduled for the February 21st City Council meeting but was removed from the agenda.

The Hoboken Girl has reached out to Hoboken for Responsible Cannabis for their thoughts and will update this piece when we hear back.

What to Expect

For now, Blue Violets is open by appointment only while Max and Lauren get the hang of things. Appointments are on Tuesday through Friday from 5PM to 8PM and Saturday and Sunday from 11AM to 8PM. The appointments are 30 minutes long and are released via Blue Violets’ Instagram and website a few days beforehand.

Photo Credit: Blue Violets

In the few days since opening the store, Lauren says that everyone who has come through has been excited and curious. “People were saying that they’ve been following our story and were curious what was going on,” she said. “We felt like we were really a part of the community and interacting with neighbors. People are happy for us to be open.”

The appointments are essentially a one-on-one concierge experience with Max and Lauren. Customers show their ID to get buzzed into the shop for their appointment, where they are guided by Max and Lauren to make their selections. “It’s a lot of education,” Lauren said. “We work with the customer to make a good selection. It’s a lot of one-on-one time with people.”

Photo Credit: Blue Violets

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As for inventory, Blue Violets has products from Ascend, a New Jersey-based dispensary. “We plan to expand once things get going,” Lauren said. As the store grows, Max and Lauren hope to expand the store’s hours and staffing.

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