Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon The Chef’s plans to open one of the first legal cannabis lounges in New Jersey were snuffed out.
Earlier this year, Hashstoria, an Oregon-based cannabis franchise backed by the rapper, filed an application seeking to make its Garden State debut with a recreational dispensary and on-site consumption area in Newark’s Four Corners Historic District.
The venture’s application as well as architectural design for the circa-1900s building at 799-805 Broad St. – which includes a fresh brick face and new windows to display a rotating exhibit of community artwork – was approved Feb. 2 by the city’s landmark and historic preservation commission. However, the Newark Central Planning Board failed to endorse the proposal during its March 27 meeting amid opposition from community members, including those from nearby Old First Presbyterian Church, according to reports.
While congregants said they are supportive of bringing business to the city, they do not believe Hashstoria selected an appropriate location.
Hashstoria’s main representative at the meeting, Josh Sanderlin, tried to reassure board members and the community that the dispensary and lounge would not be a disturbance to the neighborhood and would comply with all regulations set by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission regarding consumption lounges.
Following the rejection, Hashstoria expects to pursue legal action, according to Kelley Carey, a lawyer representing the company.i