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A cannabis lounge is planned for the Atlantic City Hotel

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Atlantic City visitors can get a respite from the cannabis dispensary and consumption lounge just off the famous boardwalk once plans are considered this summer for one of the city’s older hotels. If approved by regulators, the proposal would add a lounge that allows cannabis products to be consumed on-site to the already-planned retail marijuana dispensary for the Claridge’s Hotel, a former 1920s-era casino just steps down the boardwalk.

New Jersey regulators are currently working to develop rules that govern cannabis parlors where patrons can legally smoke cannabis, vape, or consume it in public. Final approval of the proposed regulations by the state’s fledgling cannabis industry is highly anticipated, with Businessmen including Raekwon Of Wu-Tang Clan fame had already announced plans to open weed parlors.

Dispensary and lounge approved by local regulators

In Atlantic City, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority last week approved plans to open a High Rollers dispensary in the former casino district of the Claridge’s Hotel, which is located just off the boardwalk between Park Place and Indiana Avenue. John Cohn, the company’s owner, told local media that High Rollers was close to expiring on Claridge’s lease. Plans include a $3.2 million renovation to the property, which will add a new entrance to the building on Pacific Avenue near Indiana Avenue.

The planned dispensary will occupy most of the area that was once an art gallery and is now used mostly for weddings, cocktail parties and other events. The hotel plans to reserve part of the space for the popular wedding business. In addition to the new entrance, the infirmary and lounge can also be accessed through Claridge’s foyer, except when the hotel hosts weddings on site.

The High Rollers portion of the space, including a 3,700-square-foot baccarat room on the second floor, will be reconfigured into a cannabis dispensary and lounge for consumption. Consumption lounge plans include a non-alcoholic beverage bar to comply with proposed New Jersey regulations for businesses, which do not allow the sale of alcohol or food in consumption lounges. Other potential amenities for the site, which could be open as soon as this summer, include live entertainment and opportunities for outside food vendors.

High Rollers was also granted a license for a cannabis-growing facility on a vacant Atlantic City property on Martin Luther King Avenue near North Pole Avenue. The company expects to create more than 200 jobs to operate the project, with approximately 175 jobs required for the cultivation facility and a staff of approximately 35 to manage the cannabis dispensary and cannabis growing parlour.

“We feel it is appropriate for the city as a whole to use cannabis in tourism.” Cohn said. “You can’t be on the boardwalk, but it’s relatively close.”

Atlantic City has a weedy “green zone”

New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana in 2021, and the state now has 21 dispensaries offering adult cannabis to consumers. Last year, Atlantic City created a “green zone” to attract cannabis businesses to the struggling downtown area. The district includes Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue from Boston Avenue to Maryland Avenue, as well as the Orange Loop District, an area of ​​bars, restaurants, and live entertainment that stretches from Tennessee Avenue and New York Avenue from Pacific Avenue to 200 meters from the Boardwalk. Permitted cannabis uses within the region will include cultivation, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, retail and delivery.

However, the Atlantic City Boardwalk itself has restrictions on the cannabis trade. The restrictions do not apply to Claridge’s Hotel, which is separated from the Boardwalk by Brighton Park and the city’s Korean War Memorial. Atlantic City also has two medical marijuana dispensaries, The Botanist and MPX NJ.

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