Jersey City’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved Brevard-Rodriguez’s application to open her storefront in the Heights section of Jersey City last month, advancing her mission to expand her existing wellness brand, SW3AT, to include cannabis.
Brevard-Rodriguez and her business partner—who owns a 25% stake in the company—bifurcated their application with the city to also apply for a consumption lounge license in what will be a two-story space when the facility is built out. The city is currently awaiting consumption lounge rules from the state before it drafts an ordinance to regulate the businesses within its jurisdiction, but Brevard-Rodriguez is optimistic that the dispensary and consumption lounge will open together in early 2023.
Brevard-Rodriguez, who did not qualify for official social equity status in New Jersey due to income requirements, initially planned to open her business in Hoboken—her wife’s hometown—but zoning restrictions ultimately sent them elsewhere.
“We had a location locked in, and then they came back, and they sent me a letter saying that I was too close to another dispensary,” Brevard-Rodriguez says. “I don’t know how they were measuring that. Was it door-to-door? Street-to-street? I could’ve probably fought it and won, but I was like, ‘You know what? It’s not worth it. I’m going to go to a space that’s maybe a little bit more welcoming,’ and everything aligned as it was supposed to, at least in my eyes.”