An Oregon-based cannabis franchise backed by one of the members of Grammy-winning hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan is expanding to New Jersey.
Hashstoria, which was co-founded by rapper Raekwon The Chef, expects to launch this spring at 799-805 Broad St. in Newark’s Four Corners Historic District — making it the city’s first dispensary that will allow on-site consumption.
Founded six years ago, the brand collective has grown to three locations in Oregon: Astoria, Gladstone and Springfield.
The venture’s application for a cannabis lounge, as well as proposed architectural design for the circa-1900s building – which includes a fresh brick face and new windows to display community artwork – was presented by Rachael Grochowski, principal at RHG Architecture+Design and approved Feb. 2 by the city’s landmark and historic preservation commission. Grochowski, who partnered with Hashstoria for the design, will appear before the commission once more to have the applicant’s signage reviewed before starting renovations.
In a recent social media post, Raekwon, whose real name is Corey Woods, thanked the City of Newark, as well as the Hashstoria team, for their support, adding, “We’re very grateful. Community goals! Lets uplift us!”
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) recently approved a proposed framework that would allow medical dispensaries and recreational-use retailers to operate consumption lounges.
Unveiled at the regulatory board’s December 2022 meeting, the draft rules establish qualifications, an application process and operation instructions for businesses that want to set up spaces on site for customers to consume cannabis.
Before the regulations can be finalized, they are subject to a 60-day public comment period, which ends March 18. After that, the CRC said it will review and respond to comments.
If the CRC issues a final approval, New Jersey will join eight other states that have regulations providing for an on-site use option at dispensaries: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York and New Mexico.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:42 p.m. ET Feb. 13 to include information about the firm that presented the building design to the city. At 12:02 p.m. ET Feb. 14, the story was updated to include a more recent rendering.