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But Waretown amended the laws in August to allow for recreational sales at Bloc, saying the additional two percent revenue the township would get from adult use would help keep tax increases lower as costs rise across the board.
"Without this additional funding there would be a substantial increase in the municipal tax rate," Committeeman Ben LoPoro said at the time.
Local police spoke with South Toms River police, home of the county's first recreational marijuana business, and learned that they had no issues since its opening.
The planning board in South Toms River has given its approval for a partial demolition and renovation of a derelict building on Atlantic City Boulevard (Route 9) that will house retail space, including a cannabis dispensary.
“A lot of people have actually said that,” said Thomas Marino, one of the co-owners of The Social Leaf, located at 334 Atlantic City Boulevard (Route 9). “We wanted it to look clean, sleek and modern. We didn’t want to look like a head shop. We wanted to stand out – clean lines, ambience, a fresh atmosphere. People have said it feels like a combination between an Apple Store and a lounge, and that’s exactly what I was going for.”
On June 20, Councilman Keith Vreeland suggested putting a referendum on the ballot in the general election to get residents’ opinions on a cannabis dispensary in town. On July 17, Vreeland moved a resolution with a clear ballot question.
“Shall the Borough of Tuckerton permit recreational cannabis operations and retail distribution within the Borough?” Vreeland read.
Vreeland motioned to adopt the referendum. Councilman Brian Martin voted “yes,” while remaining council members voted “no.” The resolution did not pass.
The first dispensary for sales of recreational marijuana opened in Ocean County Friday. Before the Social Leaf Dispensary opened in South Toms River, customers would have to travel long distances to access recreational products.
Last week also saw the opening for medical marijuana sales of the Bloc Dispensary in Waretown, Ocean County.
What happens when you bring together four local business owners who sell coffee, cut hair and mix cement?
You get Ocean County’s first-ever cannabis dispensary, opening Friday.
“I think it will be huge for everybody, it is going to be big,” said Thomas Marino, a local barber who joined three other nearby merchants to create The Social Leaf, which opens Friday. “People are coming up to the door everyday asking if we are ready, if we are open yet.”
Ocean County's first legalized cannabis business has opened as of July 5, and the team at Waretown's Bloc Dispensary encourages residents to throw out their old-fashioned ideas about marijuana and give them a chance.
Bloc Dispensary, located at 501 U.S. 9 South, is a purely medical cannabis facility, as required by Waretown's laws. You need to have a medical marijuana card to even enter the store.
Patch was there on its opening day as a steady amount of customers entered the store, hoping to get their hands on the products they needed.
On June 20, Councilman Keith Vreeland opened Tuckerton Borough Council’s regular meeting with a cannabis proposition. Vreeland suggested council put cannabis dispensary licenses up to people’s vote.
“After much deliberation and research, I have decided the best route in deciding whether the Tuckerton borough should have any businesses related to cannabis is by allowing the residents to make the decision,” he said. “I recommend placing the question on the ballot for the Nov. 7 elections. I will only recommend allowing the vote for dispensary licenses.
On the 41st day, they celebrated.
The owners of The Social Leaf have received their state license to operate an adult recreational retail cannabis business from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, the culmination of 18 months of work and discussions about launching the business.
On Friday, July 7, the store will open its doors to the public, becoming the first dispensary of any kind in Ocean County, more than two years after New Jersey voters said they supported the legalization of cannabis for adult use.
John Earp and Thomas Marino sat at a table in the middle of the room, a sign for the interior of The Social Leaf dispensary lying across it, waiting to be installed.
"We're on day 36," Earp said Wednesday. "We're just trying to stay busy and stay patient."
Patience is critical when you're dealing with state regulators, and Earp, Marino and their partners, Bill Hall and Frank Guzzi, continue to dig deep for patience as they await their license from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.