HOBOKEN, NJ – Marijuana may be legal in New Jersey, but turf wars from rival dealers are still to be expected. That point was made clear last week, when one Hoboken medical marijuana dispensary won its court case against a neighboring outfit over “transparency.”

In September 2020, Secaucus-based Harmony Dispensary announced plans to move into a space at 95 Hudson Street, complete with a lounge for onsite consumption. Weeks later, a group out of Colorado called Terrapin Care Station announced their own plans to open a dispensary in Hoboken at 86 River St., around the corner from Harmony’s location. Both dispensaries will be more or less adjacent to the Hoboken Terminal and PATH Station.

Terrapin immediately filed a lawsuit, maintaining that Harmony must be held to the standards of Hoboken’s Medical Cannabis Review Board—an entity that did not yet exist when Harmony initiated its operation. Hoboken’s board was enacted in June of 2020.

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Hudson County Superior Court Judge Marybeth Rogers ruled on March 26 that Harmony should be held to the same review as all other cannabis companies looking to establish operations in the city, saying, “The Court finds that the role of the Review Board and its function to protect public health is too important to be bypassed.”

Terrapin maintains that it has partnered with local non-profits such as WomenRising, Hudson Pride Center, Oasis, Project Help, and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)—as well as several high-profile figures in the Hoboken community.

Hoboken’s medical marijuana ordinance—which calls for the imposition of a 2% municipal tax on the product moved through these locations—allows for a total of three dispensaries. In December, the Hoboken City Council voted unanimously on a resolution urging Governor Murphy and state legislators to allow certain municipalities the flexibility to generate additional local tax revenue from the sale of cannabis. Given the city's proximity and accessibility to New York City, Councilmembers saw the potential for a significant influx of customers from what many consider a rather dynamic marijuana market.

New York has since legalized marijuana, rendering that point moot.

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