Hoboken council approves measure to kill spotted lanterflies, okays new cannabis dispensary


The Hoboken City Council approved an ordinance to kill spotted lanternflies and a resolution approving the Jersey Joint adult-use cannabis dispensary at last night’s meeting.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

“I don’t think the people understand … this is going to be a travesty beyond belief because it is an exponential growth,” Mary Ondrejka said.

She urged them to pay a stipend to workers to destroy ailanthus trees, also known as the “Tree of Heaven,” where spotted lanternflies nest.

“That is their host tree. They destroy everything. They come back. That is a problem for everyone that owns plants. It’s out of control. It destroys all trees with maples. They need to be really aggressive and plant down those weed trees … You will have a new nightmare next year. This is very, very bad tree. It’s like a devil,” Ondrejka argued.

“Director Gonzalez, would you come up and give a one-minute summary of this?,” Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle asked.

Department of Environmental Services Director Jennifer Gonzalez said he ordinance would be an amendment to the city’s nuisance chapter that would designate the spotted laternfly as a plant pest.

She also said it would allow them to require the removal of ailanthus trees.

“How long will the property owner have to remove the tree?,” 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos asked.

“It’s not in the city code. We typically give them 14 days to remove the tree. We’ll have to determine that time frame. We’ll probably give them 14 days. We’re also doing education and outreach to remove the eggs,” Gonzalez said.

“This is the time to remove them aggressively, during the winter,” Ramos said.

The measure was approved unanimously (9-0).

Additionally, the Jersey Joint adult-use cannabis dispensary was approved to operate in Hoboken. While women and minority-owned, they have negligible ties to New Jersey as they own a dispensary in Massachusetts.

“You didn’t like the name, and here they are. Maybe you can stop it. I would appreciate that one, and I’m sure the residents would too,” said Manny Rivera said during their Hoboken Cannabis Review Board meeting in May.

The proposal was subsequently approved by the Hoboken Planning Board in July.

“They’re just not having their name on the signage,” 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino said.

“The signage is JJ,” noted 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

“You mean the legal change?” Doyle asked.

“The ask of the board was for it to not be advertised as Jersey Joint. We can’t require them to change their corporate name,” Council President Michael Russo said.

Fisher, a strong opponent of Story Dispensary and Blue Violets, said she thought their application looked strong.

“I just want to take a minute to support this. We thought they did a very good job. It’s a management team that seems to have a great experience. It’s a good plan,” adding that she thought their location at 1427 Grand St.

“We think this is a good partner in the city. I just feel good about the application. I know the owner is here, and they did a great job,” Fisher added.

5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen also spoke in favor.

“I spoke with the owners and the lawyers for this application. I thought they had a good plan. They were thoughtful with respect to their design. It seemed like a well thought out application. I looked at the store they run in Massachusetts. It seemed like a good application for the neighborhood,” he said.

The resolution passed 8-1, with Giattino voting no.

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  1. But, removing a tree is not taking out the garbage, it can be costly. If the city is mandating tree removals as an environmental health issue, shouldn’t the city subcontract that work?

    • That is why I want the city to offer the property owner a stipend to help them financially to take out the tree. I was not quoted correctly. I know it is costly to remove a tree, but this particular tree is a ‘weed’ and its mere existence is causing havoc because of the lanternfly which breeds in this tree and lays its eggs in this tree which then causes much more havoc for society. These “weeds” must be removed because there is no other way to ever get rid of the lanterflies. Spraying only helps kill the current bug on the tree. Owners would have to spray every week for weeks to make a dent and no owner will do that. It is helping the environment for everyone when the tree is removed. The good thing is that you just need to remove it once and this host tree which propagates the future lanternflies, eliminates future lanternflies. People let these horrible trees grow and should have weeded them out of the backyards years and years ago.