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Cookies Harrison Cannabis Store Opening Scheduled for July 2023

Jul 13, 2023
Welcome to Harrison Cannabis Store photo

After almost two years since the Town of Harrison passed Ordinance 1445 permitting the legal sale of cannabis, Cookies Harrison LLC will be opening its store before the end of July (2023) according to a response to a question about the Town’s Cannabis Ordinance at the July 11, 2023, Mayor & Council meeting.

In a pivotal move, the Mayor and Council of Harrison, NJ, has revised the Town of Harrison Cannabis Ordinance, Ordinance 1445, to implement additional auditing capabilities for better sales tracking. This amendment will enhance the administration's ability to monitor the town's tax on cannabis sales, according to the Town Clerk.

Almost Two Years Since Cannabis Law Passed

The Town of Harrison initially passed Ordinance 1445 in August 2021, permitting the legal sale of cannabis in alignment with the New Jersey Cannabis Legalization Law. Since February 2022, two companies, Green Origin Solutions LLC and Cookies Harrison LLC, have applied to open retail stores for cannabis sales at 615 South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. The Ah’ Pizza restaurant is located in the same building, the Harbor Station 330 building which is on the corner of South Frank E. Rodgers Blvd and Angelo Cifelli Drive.

Whose Who in Harrison Cannabis

Public records indicate that Cookies Harrison LLC, previously known as Turning Paiges LLC, named Daniel J. Cohen as its Authorized Representative. The company operates from Englewood, NJ. Green Origin Solutions LLC lists OM A Patel and Shivani A. Patel as Authorized Representatives and has its base in Iselin, NJ. The Town of Harrison Mayor and Council had given both entities their approval and a resolution of support to open separate Cannabis retail stores.  On May 16, 2023, Green Origin Solutions LLC requested to change its location from 615 South Rodgers Blvd. to the other side of the town to 701 North Frank E. Rodgers Blvd Mini Mall. The Mayor & Council approved the move even though the relocation brought the sale of cannabis closer to Harrison and neighboring East Newark Public schools.

Both retailers will now seek approval from the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). Their proposed retail stores fall within the neighborhood commercial zone and waterfront redevelopment zone as per the Town of Harrison Ordinance stipulations.

Opposition to Cannabis Sales

The decision to allow cannabis sales in Harrison has not been universally embraced. In contrast, neighboring Kearny has prohibited retail locations townwide. However, one potential advantage for Harrison is the collection of a 2% local tax on each sale. This tax's potential revenue is not yet clear, as is the issue of whether it will sufficiently cover any additional emergency service expenses triggered by the new industry.

Quality of Life Issues / Impact on Teenage Brains

Along with the benefits and challenges, quality of life concerns also arise. The Cookies Harrison LLC location is a ground-floor retail space in a luxury apartment building in Harrison’s Redevelopment Zone adjacent to residential neighborhoods. The Green Origin Solutions LLC's new location at the 701 North Rodgers Blvd Mini Mall brings the cannabis store closer to an area where children traverse to school.  Cannabis has been shown to have detrimental effects on teenage brains and legalization opponents have complained that legalization of cannabis normalizes its use and sends the wrong message to youths who may think it is safe to use when it is detrimental to their future.

Red Bulls Impact Plus Cannabis Sales

Interestingly, Cookies Harrison LLC is, as stated earlier, nearing the opening of its store at 300 Cifelli Drive, located just off South Frank E. Rodgers, the very road closed during Red Bulls Arena games and events. This situation has led to complaints from residents of the Steel Works building, Vermella, and Cobalt Lofts, who find their access restricted during these events. The added traffic from customers of the Cookies Harrison LLC store is going to be another hindrance to residents in the SOHA area of Harrison.  The same scenario may play itself out at the 701 North Frank E. Rodgers Mini-Mall when the Green Origin Solutions LLC location opens up on North Frank E. Rodgers Blvd.

The question of whether the decision to approve cannabis sales in Harrison was a wise one remains to be answered. However, the evolving landscape of cannabis sales in the town continues to generate animated discussion and, potentially, far-reaching effects for the community.

Additional Reading:

Harrison: Coming Soon Legal Cannabis Sales

Cannabis Store Seeks Move Putting It Closer to Town Schools

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