or to vote comment and more!
Cape May County’s first legal cannabis dispensary quietly opened its doors this week, and staff members say business is already brisk.
With final approval from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission and all inspections completed, Shore House Canna on Sunset Boulevard is clear to begin selling cannabis flower, edibles and concentrates.
A grand opening is planned for Oct. 28, but owner Tom Nuscis said the soft opening will give the business more time to work out any issues and get things running smoothly before the business begins to advertise.
In Middle Township, one of only four municipalities in Cape May County to authorize cannabis businesses, a deal for a cannabis growing operation on Indian Trail Road has fallen through. Middle supported the Massachusetts-based INSA company in its attempt to rehabilitate the former La Monica plant as a growing site back in October 2021.
Come the end of summer, Cape May County could see what may be its first legal cannabis dispensary open for business.
Shore House Canna LLC, located at 124 Sunset Blvd. in West Cape May, hopes to start legally selling cannabis by Labor Day — a move that would make it not only the county’s first legal dispensary, but among the first in any beach town in New Jersey, save for Atlantic City.
“We can smell the finish,” said Dave Christian, a principal with Shore House Canna.
The Township Committee voted in December to allow the municipality to receive proposals for retail sales of cannabis.
Now that a business, New Frontier Solutions LLC, is interested in setting up shop in the township, some residents are not happy about it.
"We thought they (the Township Committee) had our best interests at heart. That was a big mistake," said Sharon Corsiglia, 74, who has lived in the township for more than 50 years.
Mayor William Ruggieri declined to comment, citing the pending application.
Work continues on a Sunset Boulevard property that’s set to become Cape May County’s first legal cannabis dispensary.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved a class 5 retail license for Tomas Nuscis for Shore House Canna LLC in March. The business had originally planned to open its doors by April 20, often described as a weed holiday, and later advertised a June 30 opening.
Now, the store hopes to begin serving customers by Labor Day.
“We’re a little hesitant to put a date on it,” said Nicole Melchiorre, one of the principals of Shore House Canna.
Andrew Sick, an attorney for the applicant hoping to open the Sea & Leaf cannabis outlet in North Cape May, said his client is still waiting for approval from the state.
“We have submitted all materials to New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). We are now waiting on final approval from them. They canceled their meeting for next month where they announce final approvals, so now it's looking like we'll have to wait until at least June or July,” he said.
A CRC spokesperson did not return a request for information before publication.
Lower Township Council supported its first potential weed business, backing Sea and Leaf LLC in its bid to open a retail cannabis facility at 3860 Bayshore Road, Unit 7.
Local approval is part of the application process for a state license, which would still need to be approved by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Council gave unanimous approval at a February meeting.
“This has been a good two years in the making,” said Mayor Frank Sippel at the meeting.
A retail cannabis operation named Sea & Leaf plans to open in the Bayshore Mall in North Cape May by May 1.
Andrew Sick, attorney for Sea & Leaf LLC, said the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) would give its final approval in perhaps three to four months. Depreet Singh, the holder of the license issued by Lower Township, was a little more optimistic.
“We will be opening in a time of, like, two-and-a-half months,” Singh said. “I would say May 1 is possible.”
Cannabis was in the crosshairs at the Monday Middle Township Committee meeting, at which a resident lambasted plans for a dispensary in the Rio Grande section.
At a previous meeting, committee members supported the location on Route 9. The site is currently vacant, after the diner that once stood there burned down years ago.
The Massachusetts company, INSA, has already sought a license for medical retail in the township. That effort failed to get state approval during the first rounds of licensing for medical cannabis dispensaries. There is still the potential for an integrated license for cultivation and manufacturing operations at the old La Monica Plant on Indian Trail Road.