Blue Violets dispensary in Hoboken loses lawsuit, planning board approval vacated


The Blue Violets cannabis dispensary that sought to open in Hoboken lost a lawsuit against them, vacating their planning board approval that was granted just over a year ago.

Instagram photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The law and the facts were on our side, and I am happy the judge agreed,” Liz Urtecho, a founding member of Hoboken for Responsible Cannabis and 5th Ward council candidate said in a statement.

“The dispensary is too close to the school – breaking our local ordinance, but when we brought it up to the city, the planning board, and our local representatives, they would not listen to us. It didn’t have to get this far; if the residents’ voices had only been heard from the beginning.”

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Anthony D’Elia ruled that the city planning board did not have jurisdiction to review the Blue Violets application since it violates Hoboken’s “common sense” cannabis rules that were adopted by the council on April 6th, 2022.

The ordinance, which went into effect on April 28th, 2022, prohibited cannabis dispensaries from being within 600 feet of primary and secondary schools.

Blue Violets dispensary, which sought to open at 628 Washington St., is just over 200 feet from both Hoboken Charter School and All Saints Episcopal Day School.

Their planning board approval did not come until September 15th, 2022.

D’Elia determined that Blue Violets did not submit a complete application to the Hoboken Planning Board until after the aforementioned ordinance went into effect, and therefore, must obtain a variance from the zoning board to operate at that space.

“The City Council has the responsibility to consider and represent all stakeholder interests,” added Jeff Tennenbaum, a board member of Hoboken for Responsible Cannabis and parent of a Hoboken Charter School student.

“They should have opposed the Blue Violets application from the beginning given it violated the 600-foot boundary ordinance that they themselves approved to protect kids. They had complete discretion to do so but instead downplayed all concerns raised and forced residents to move forward with this litigation.”

The city council approved the application by a vote of 5-4, six days after the planning board did and a lawsuit was filed about a month later. Blue Violets was the first cannabis dispensary to receive planning board and council approval in the Mile Square City.

Counsel for Blue Violets did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

At least three Hoboken dispensaries have been tied up in litigation, which also includes Story Dispensary, located at the former Hudson Tavern at 51 14th St. in the 2nd Ward.

The case, which pitted the cannabis business against the condo association of residents in the same building, involved allegations of political gamesmanship, which began since the building is co-owned by Jaclyn Fulop, the wife of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

“The parties have reached an amicable, confidential settlement. The settlement will allow Story of Hoboken to open its doors and begin to serve the Hoboken community in the coming months,” Lee Vartan, counsel for Story, said in an email today.

Furthermore, the council adopted a settlement last week that would give Culture Hoboken LLC another planning board hearing under the rules established prior to the common sense cannabis regulations being implemented, as HCV first reported.

The outcome of the Blue Violets case could potentially have an impact on the Culture Hoboken case.

Also last week, the Hoboken Cannabis Review Board recommended that the council revoke approval for Harmony Dispensary since they felt that had not taken any serious steps to open in about three years.

The Hoboken City Council next convenes on October 4th at City Hall, 94 Washington St., on Wednesday, October 4th.

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  1. You are going to make one heck of a Councilwoman. This is not anti Cannabis – this is about doing things the right way and not cowering to powerful interests.

    Go for it!

  2. Mr. Cohen, will you now please do the honourable thing and drop out?

    We don’t despise you, but we are not happy about your “scaremongering” comment. Being honest, you not only failed us with your stance on BV but also failed to represent us. And we were mates.

    I’m therefore inclined to inquire as to what dirt the mayor has on you. Surely it cannot can’t be that ignominious as to continue subjugating Rebbeca and the girls throughout our small town!

    This corrupt mayor is clearly not long for Hoboken (if he ever was) and Mr. Ball Jabbour is obviously his pick to succeed him. So why are you such a Bhalla bootlicker?

    Liz (and Erik), THANK YOU! Without your drive and continued efforts, we would never have defeated BV.

    Your neighbours are indebted.

  3. Another fat “L” for Ravi. And this clown thinks he can run for Congress?

    How many frivolous lawsuits has Ravi filed and lost? And how many has he filed and lost?

    Actually, it’s probably easier to count the number of wins.


  4. Kinda telling that the gut reaction of Blue Violets was to go and cry on reddit about this being fake news. If they can’t even manage to attend their own hearings how in the world did they plan to run a business.