Raekwon, a prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan, is set to open his own cannabis lounge in Newark, New Jersey. The Newark Central Planning Board recently voted to move forward with the lounge’s opening, which will sell the brand, Hashtoria.
Raekwon’s Cannabis Lounge Gets Green Light
The board’s decision, made on July 24, granted conditional use for Hashtoria, the Oregon-based cannabis franchise backed by the “Ice Cream” rapper– to operate a Class 5 cannabis retail facility in Newark’s Four Corners Historic District. However, the final approval of the business will depend on the commission’s evaluation.
Should the commission give the green light, Raekwon’s cannabis lounge will become the latest addition to Newark’s growing cannabis industry. In March 2023, during a planning board meeting, the proposed lounge location across the street from the Old First Presbyterian Church sparked protests from church members and community residents.
They believed the cannabis lounge would be “inappropriate” due to its proximity to the church. While the board voted in favor of Hashtoria, concerns were raised about the potential disturbance the lounge might cause to the community.
The Last Say So
Hashtoria has attempted to address these concerns and reassure church and community members. Kelly Carey, a lawyer representing Hashtoria, stated that the lounge would not be a disturbance, and any legal action threatened by the church would be met with a firm response.
The negotiations between Hashtoria and the concerned parties will create a peaceful coexistence between the cannabis lounge and the local community. The approval for Raekwon’s cannabis lounge comes after the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved the framework for consumption lounges in December 2022.
These lounges allow medical dispensaries and recreational retailers to provide spaces for consumers. However, the regulations surrounding these lounges are still being finalized, and licenses must be issued before they can officially operate.
Updated by Chris Samuel on August 8th, 2023.
Raekwon’s Cannabis Lounge Denied Location By City Of Newark And Local Church
Raekwon’s proposal for a New Jersey cannabis lounge was rejected after facing objections from local church members. Many churchgoers raised concerns about the proposed lounge in the community.
According to an NJ.com report, Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon’s proposal for a New Jersey cannabis lounge was denied after objections were raised by a local church.
The Church Speaks
The “Ice Cream” rapper had hoped to establish the lounge in Newark, N.J., to promote his cannabis brand — Hashtoria. However, the plan faced opposition from Old First Presbyterian Church members, who cited concerns about the impact of the lounge on the community.
In fact, the church would have been across from the proposed lounge on Broad Street in Newark.
“We’re not against people smoking marijuana if they want to,” Rev. Glaspy said. “But they can put it somewhere else.”
Newark’s Central Planning Board considered the church’s objections, which ultimately rejected the application for the cannabis lounge.
“I pray that you will put this somewhere else,” Rev. Doris Glaspy said during the Planning Board’s meeting on Zoom on March 27. A new location for the cannabis lounge had not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, another hip-hop artist who has also entered the cannabis business is Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. He started his cannabis brand 93 Boyz in August 2022.
In March, rappers T.I., Moneybagg Yo, Soulja Boy, and Lil Durk partnered with tobacco brand Cignature to each have their own flavored hemp wraps, which customers can purchase for cannabis use.
Diddy To Create World’s Largest Black-Owned Cannabis Company
In November 2022, rap mogul Diddy made a purchase through Cresco labs and is set to be the owner of the largest Black-owned cannabis company. Diddy purchased three medical licensing medical operations in New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois.