Culture Hoboken Inc., a local cannabis dispensary, is likely to get another hearing to settle their lawsuit against the city, pending a vote from the council this evening.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
” … This would be a non-monetary settlement wherein Culture Hoboken Inc. would be permitted to appear before the Cannabis Review Board (“CRB”) to have their application be considered de novo, amended as necessary,” the resolution that was added to the agenda today says.
Their application proposes a storefront for a cannabis business at 321 Washington St. in the 1st Ward and was voted down by the cannabis review board back in May 2022 and then carried by the planning board in August 2022 for not having CRB approval, as HCV first reported.
The CRB, who was also named in the lawsuit, voted the application down citing no lease on the property, a lack of experience in the field, and expected parking issues the dispensary would cause.
The vote was 2-1, with 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, then the council president, voting yes, and Business Administrator Jason Freeman and then-Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini, now a 1st Ward council candidate, voting no.
A copy of the settlement agreement indicates that the LLC filed a lawsuit to overturn the CRB decision on August 22nd, 2022 and had a completeness review of their application delayed by the planning board both last month and this month due to pending litigation.
Hudson County Superior Court Judge Anthony D’Elia denied a motion to stay on September 13th and ruled for the settlement to be approved within 21 days of that date.
As a result, the CRB would reconsider the Culture Hoboken application “as if it was submitted and deemed complete April 5, 2022.”
“This Settlement Agreement must be formally approved by the Hoboken City Council as this Settlement Agreement will be deemed null and void without said approval,” the proposed deal also says.
This is at least the third cannabis dispensary seeking to open in Hoboken that was involved in litigation.
Blue Violets’ approval is being challenged by Hoboken for Responsible Cannabis Inc., a group spearheaded by 5th Ward council candidate Liz Urtecho, while Story Dispensary is in a lawsuit with 51-53 14th Street Condominium Association, Inc.
The Hoboken City Council convenes this evening at City Hall, 94 Washington St., at 7 p.m. and will also be livestreamed on their Facebook and YouTube pages.