Pure Blossom has secured a coveted resolution of support from the Hopewell Township Committee as a cannabis retail business.
The Township Committee unanimously voted to approve a resolution supporting Pure Blossom’s application at its April 18 meeting.
Hopewell Township has a first-come, first-served method for applicants in the township’s process for providing a resolution of support.
“Our ordinance says that they will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. It requires the applicant to prepare a presentation that explains how the business, in this case a retail establishment, would be able to comply with the ordinance,” said Scott Miccio, attorney for Hopewell Township from the law firm Parker McCay.
“Of course that business would have to demonstrate that it is proposing to be placed in a location that allows it, so we ask those entities to submit a presentation for the committee’s review in advance of the hearing, so that the proposal does comply with our ordinance.”
Pure Blossom’s site location would be at 2554 Pennington Road, which is currently a vacant medical office.
“We think it is appropriate in its location. It is compliant with the zoning that you [committee members] proposed and the planning board has proposed here in the township,” said Trish Zita from Pure Blossom. “There are no residential neighbors nearby the location. The location has proper egress and ingress and is not within a 1,000 feet of a school.”
The cannabis retail establishment would be a microbusiness.
“Pure Blossom is applying as a micro-dispensary. That is a different license here in New Jersey,” Zita said. “I think it is an appropriate license for that particular location. It has a smaller footprint and needs to be less than 2,500 square feet in order to comply with that type of license.”
Pure Blossom plans to hire locally and can’t have more than 10 employees, according to the presentation.
Owners and staff will also go through extensive background checks.
Those entering the Pure Blossom’s facility would have their IDs checked at the door and the products would be child resistant.
“Cameras are in every room that contains cannabis, which essentially in a 2,000-square-foot building is everywhere. There are full alarms and restricted access [electronic locks on doors],” Zita added. “There will be security person onsite when the store is open and the camera system is on 24/7.”
Day-to-day compliance and operations is overseen by a consultant.
“This is more than a cannabis store to me,” said Diana Zita, owner of Pure Blossom. “It is an opportunity to educate our community, to break down inherent biases and underlying decades of stigma associated with this and educate our community on the health benefits that cannabis can bring with it.”
When asked by Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning about site parking and how Pure Blossom will control demand to keep the business a microbusiness, Trish Zita said, “With the parking we talked about … a lot of the purchases we hope will be made online through the website, so it is really about curbside pickup.”
She added that people would not be staying in the parking lot for an extended period of time with curbside pickup.
“Being a microbusiness limits the volume. I believe it is a 1,000 pounds per month that can be sold, which limits the number of customers you can have,” Trish Zita said.
During Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger’s questions, he asked about Pure Blossom’s age verification process regarding sales ordered online and picked up.
“There is a verification process online through the electronics system and then an ID verification when they come to pick up as well,” Trish Zita said.