The Harmony Foundation, a Secaucus-based medical cannabis dispensary, has partnered with Jersey City to sponsor a party on Saturday during the 31st annual Jersey City Art and Studio Tour (JCAST).
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
Harmony Marketing Director Shawn McGurr said Mayor Steven Fulop will be at their “Wild Styles and Strains” party on Saturday, which runs from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Inside the dispensary will be a pop-up art gallery, while there will be music, a beer garden, and food trucks outside. The event description also notes that street artist Ron English will also be performing live body painting.
McGurr said sponsoring the festival is a “great opportunity to be part of the community,“ continuing that they are “on a mission to change the stigma about cannabis,” which helps their efforts.
Marketing Director Shawn McGurr said that in June, the mural arts program contacted Harmony Dispensary CEO Shaya Brodchandel to see if they were interested in helping with the mural festival.
McGurr said it is exciting that Jersey City is creating a mural art district near their dispensary. In August, Harmony was approved by the Planning Board to operate a medical dispensary at 227 Coles St. near I-78, which leads into the Holland Tunnel.
Their target is to open the dispensary by the end of the year. However, it is difficult to set a specific date as they are waiting on final approvals, and it might be pushed to next year.
They are proud of their part in the overall effort to transform the neighborhood, which is expected to eventually include a new Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station.
“Prior to Shaya coming here and singing this lease, this area underneath the Turnpike and [Route] 1 and 9 was a no man’s land. People were literally afraid to cross areas underneath the bridge,” McGurr said.
Harmony’s building, located at 227 Coles St., now has murals on three sides painted as part of the city’s efforts.
Notably, the mural will have “augmented reality,” where if someone looks at the mural on their cell phone, a hologram of the creator appears on the screen and discusses the piece.
The technology is similar to that used by a QR code, but instead, the mural is the code.
“Instead of an ugly QR code, you have this beautiful picture,” noted.
Brodchandel said Harmony is also in talks with Jersey City’s Health and Human Services Department to hold cannabis educations presentations in all six wards of the city.
They want to do something similar in Hoboken as well, where they have been approved for a medical cannabis dispensary.
Harmony will almost certainly not be the only cannabis dispensary in Jersey City.
The city council has approved expansive medical and adult-use cannabis ordinances, allowing for many dispensaries and other cannabis businesses.
“We want to change the stigma and know we are a safe great space to go to,” added Brodchandel.
Editor’s note: Daniel Ulloa runs the New Jersey cannabis site Headynj.com.