August 18, 2022

CRDA To Hear Planning Applications For AC Marijuana Growing Facility And Three Dispensaries

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A rendering of the marijuana growing facility planned for Atlantic Avenue.

Three new retail cannabis dispensaries and one 125,000-foot cannabis growing facility are seeking permission to open in Atlantic City. The dispensaries are looking to occupy existing buildings that were previously a soup kitchen, a check-cashing location and a video rental store, while the growing facility would be a newly-constructed building covering most of a city block. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the state body that oversees planning in Atlantic City’s tourism and business districts, will hold a public hearing on Sept. 15 to discuss the plans (an earlier hearing on Aug. 18 was postponed).

A company called Starboard Enterprises is seeking to build a cannabis growing facility just two blocks from the retail outlets known as The Walk. The company is proposing building a class 1 and class 2 facility on the 1700 block of Atlantic Ave, between Indiana and Martin Luther King Avenues, with parking for 75 vehicles. The project’s investors include Jon Cohn and Craig McHugh who run a growing facility in Exton, PA called Agri-Kind. Part of the site is city-owned property that would be conveyed to the owners of the project under a city ordinance. The owners could not immediately be reached for comment.

CRDA will also hear an application to open a marijuana dispensary at the former video rental store at 3112 Atlantic Avenue, between Montpelier and Chelsea Avenues. That application is from a company called Legal Distribution which names four local owners from Absecon, Egg Harbor Township, Margate and Atlantic City. The owners did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Everest Dispensary, meanwhile, is seeking approval to open a dispensary at 1226 Atlantic Avenue between South Carolina and South Chalfonte Aves, replacing a check-cashing office. The project is backed by owners in Oxnard, California, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ron Seagraves, the owner of 1226 Atlantic Ave, said he was not connected with the California-based investors but that he understood they already operate dispensaries there. “I was surprised that they approached me and they want to buy my building where I’ve been operating a check cashing store for 30 years,” he said, adding that he believed it was a perfect site within the permitted zone for cannabis locations. “Anything where somebody’s improving Atlantic City [and] spending money is probably going to be good for the city,” he said, adding that he hoped it would be approved.

PG Health is looking to open a dispensary at the former site of Sister Jean’s soup kitchen at Victory First Presbyterian Church, which was condemned two years ago. Sister Jean’s soup kitchen was moved further north along Pennsylvania Ave to Saint Monica’s church but it has not yet been able to reopen because the building needs substantial repair work. PG Health’s dispensary application is backed by two women from Cherry Hill who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Atlantic City council on Wednesday heard an ordinance that would expand the list of “permitted cannabis establishment locations.”

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