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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.”
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.”
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.
The Social Leaf Dispensary in South Toms River received approval at the March 3 meeting of the commission, officials with the business said.
In preparation, they have been renovating the former Cap'n Hippo's Bait and Tackle store on Route 166, and now they have scheduled a job fair for potential employees.
The job fair is from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at South Toms River Borough Hall, and they will be accepting applications and scheduling interviews.
The address is 334/336 Atlantic City Boulevard in South Toms River, the former home of Captain Hippo’s Bait And Tackle. The companies name, according to a makeshift grommeted sign on top of the building will be the Social Leaf Dispensary.
There is no word on an opening date for the dispensary, which would be the fourth in South and Central Jersey, and the first in Ocean County. For now the sign reads “Coming Soon”. Obviously, It’s an ominous phrase considering the feelings and opinions that are sure to follow the news of Ocean County’s first recreational cannabis dispensary.
So that leads us to current "cannabis" news here in Ocean County. Construction is underway on the first "recreational" cannabis dispensary here in Ocean County.
The "Social Leaf Dispensary" has begun construction at its future location which will be at 334/336 Atlantic City Blvd in South Toms River. There is no word yet on any opening date, but as soon as we get the official word we will pass that along to you.