Medical marijuana dispensary gets approval to open in Hoboken

A medical marijuana dispensary will soon be opening in Hoboken after the state approved the application to open.

The dispensary already had the city’s approval and hopes to open for medical sales on River Street by early next summer. And officials say that recreational marijuana could eventually be sold there, too.

The dispensary will be operated by the Colorado-based cannabis company Terrapin. The company has teamed with Hoboken resident and longtime business owner Joe Castelo. Castelo also owns the building where the dispensary will be housed. It is located across from Hoboken Terminal.

“This dispensary, I think, is probably the most centrally-located dispensary in the tristate area – outside the train station where 600,000 people commute in and out every day,” Castelo says.

The owners say that the facility will have plenty of regulations, security rules and filtration systems in place, so it won’t impact residents who do not consume marijuana. They say that so far there has been very little pushback from the community.

But they also say that they won’t do anything without the support of the city and its residents. There is also a plan in place to work with local nonprofits in an effort to give back to the community.

“We need to work to right the wrong of failed policy – decades and decades and decades of failed policy that’s ultimately coming to an end with this legalization effort,” says Peter Marcus, Terrapin vice president of communications. “We want to provide jobs and access to this cannabis industry to certain populations that were disproportionately negatively affected by it.”

Hoboken approved the current medical marijuana proposal back in October. Supporters say it provides easier and increased access to medical marijuana for patients and is also a huge tax revenue for the city. And with legislation already in place allowing for recreational sales in Hoboken, Terrapin’s owners say they hope to branch out eventually.

“We still need more guidance from the state there. We assume watching the elevation of things, this will one day become a recreational store – as long as it fits in with the community of Hoboken and they want it,” says Marcus.

Any medical dispensary must also make a new application to sell recreational cannabis.

Hoboken is planning to use 75% of its cannabis tax revenue to support social justice initiatives, education programs, community policing and similar programs.

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