Hoboken Planning Board OKs Story Dispensary plan to fulfill settlement


The Hoboken Planning Board approved the amended Story Dispensary proposal that was necessary as part of the terms of their settlement with the condo association that lives in the same building.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

Story Dispensary was sued by 51-53 14th Street Condominium Association, Inc. and they reached a confidential settlement in September. They had previously received approval the the city’s cannabis review board, planning board, and city council.

It was deemed a “Whispering Woods” hearing, which allows cities to settle planning and zoning lawsuits without a full hearing.

“The testimony should be just about the settlement agreement,” Chair Frank Magaletta declared.

“There was litigation which commenced during the planning board process,” Story Dispensary attorney Lauren Tardanico noted, to which Magaletta said terms have been agreed upon.

Tardanico explained the conditions of the settlement. The first concession was the hours of operations were reduced. The second was a limitation on armed security guards and the third was an entrance change.

“We have agreed to change the entrance from 14th Street to Hudson Street,” she noted, further stating they would do so to assuage concerns about long lines.

Magaletta asked if they had notified the Hoboken Police Department.

“We’re in the process of doing that,” Tardanico said.

Magaletta and Commissioner Jim Doyle, also a councilman-at-large, seemed to think the Hoboken Police Department or Story might want armed guards, which could break the settlement.

“There are a lot of ways to secure a dispensary. Guns are not the only way. You’d have to think of alternative ways. Increased cameras, more guards,” operations consultant Aaron Epstein said.

Commissioner Anne Lockwood said they indicated in past hearing how deliveries in a garage would work and wanted to know what would change.

“We still plan to have security accompany deliveries. We still plan to have the alternative security measures in place,” Epstein said.

Tardanico noted they secured a loading space closer to the front door.

“That loading space is in place now. It will be a limited distance from the entrance,” she stated.

“You should have led with that,” Magaletta joked.

Tardanico explained they are working with the Hoboken zoning officer and submitted a revised floor plan. She also said they expanded the waiting area and reduced the sales area to include a longer line inside.

“Why did you put the entrance initially on 14th Street?” Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher asked during the public question and answer session.

“We initially put it on Hudson Street,” Epstein replied.

He said the zoning officer said it should be there.

“When do you start talking to the condo association? It matters,” Fisher argued.

She was very curious about the details of moving the door.

“I’m trying to provide information in the form of a question,” Fisher claimed.

Fisher continued that a lot of people were angry about the door side. She claimed they never talked about moving the door, but Tardanico said they did.

Fisher called for further meetings to review the changes. She noted there were numerous complaints about people lining up outside.

“It’s the number one issue,” she argued.

“We’re not going to reopen all of that,” Magaletta declared.

Fisher noted the plan is hidden and the waiting room is bigger.

“It’s been on file with the city,” Tardanico argued about the settlement.

“Do you think you’re the only party to this process that has a right to determine if the changes … meet all of the conditions?” Fisher asked.

She said Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman changed her opinion in their favor and argued that others should be consulted carefully.

Tardanico said a condition of the settlement allows them to work with the zoning officer.

“Why don’t we have a more precise definition of triggering event?” Roberto Verthelyi asked.

“Is there a definition of triggering event?” Magaletta asked, to which Tardanico said it’s not specifically defined.

Verthelyi asked if the planning board saw the lawsuit settlement.

“Anything that affects our approval is in our bailiwick,” Doyle said.

“Will the state cannabis review board get access to the full lawsuit?” Verthelyi said.

“No,” Tardanico said.

Verthelyi said there could be an ownership change in the settlement.

“You haven’t even seen the plans,” he claimed.

“We’ve seen them,” Doyle replied. He said it was available to see on the online portal for the public to see.

“Do these changes require action by the city council?” Verthelyi asked.

“I don’t think so,” Magaletta said.

Manuel Rivera Soler was concerned about the nature of the settlement and its impact on disabled people.

“Doesn’t it trigger anything at all?” he asked.

Tardanico said the building department complies with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) mandating handicap access.

Rivera was concerned about the transparency of the settlement.

“Does this board have any power tonight to say we would like to see the architectural plan?” Liz  Urtecho, who spearheaded a group that successfully sued Blue Violets dispensary, asked.

“There’s no rehashing. It’s not typical,” Board Attorney Nylema Nabbie said.

“It would just seem appropriate,” Urtecho said.

“We all sat through hours and hours of discussion on this application. This board is changing the rules,” Fisher argued during the final public comment period after questioning.

She wanted more of the public involved, noting the hearing was the same day as the 1st Ward runoff.

“Just reject this piece,” Fisher argued.

“We don’t know who got paid,” Verthelyi declared.

“Mr. Fulop is a very powerful man. It seems like somebody walked away with pockets loaded,” Pat Waiters exclaimed, referencing that the building is co-owned by the Jersey City mayor’s wife.

“I’ve been seeing it for years in this town.”

“Does the county board have to approve this?” Urtecho asked.

Tardanico said they requested a letter, which they will send.

“In the settlement, there’s no mention of these terms,” Doyle said. “We have to accept these if we want to settle the case.”

“It’s a package deal,” Magaletta said.

“We’re glad the lawsuit goes away,” Doyle said.

“It was not a surprise that the entrance would be moved. The plans were on the portal. It’s not like you didn’t have access to them. This is something that was discussed. We’re bound to approve the settlement,” Magaletta declared.

The settlement was approved unanimously (7-0), with the condition that the police department would approve their security plan.

Story Dispensary is a cannabis corporation that is a Multi-State Operator (MSO) with 15 locations.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353


  1. Fulop’s wants his wife’s cannabis shop open full. stop.
    A funny story.
    Mayor Fulop is running for Governor.
    Mayor Ravi Bhalla it is said wants to move up from his position in Hoboken.
    Mayor Fulop also hired Frank Magaletta to head up his Jersey City Cannabis Board.
    Hoboken Councilman James Doyle (Team Bhalla) said at a City Council meeting that he saw the loophole in the rules that allowed Mrs Fullop and her partners to open in a residential building and SAID HE NOTHING TO THE PUBLIC and the Fulop slipped into that loophole.