An all new construction retail marijuana dispensary is being proposed at 2751 Sicklerville Rd. As a point of reference this is near the Route 42 exit, and directly across the street from a Super Wawa.
The development will consist of a 4,290 square foot “floor area” building for the retail cannabis dispensary. The building will include a drive-thru lane.
The proposed project is scheduled for a Gloucester Township Planning Board hearing on January 9th.
As is the requirement for New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission when awarding a license, Gloucester Township had previously passed a resolution in support of the property/location as one being suitable for a Class 5 Adult Use Cannabis Retail Business within the Township.
An interesting historical twist on the property… did you know that about 60 years ago there was an exit off of Route 42 North that went through the wooded area along Sicklerville Rd, and connected with the Hickstown Rd intersection? More on that below as the developers are using a small portion of that area for accessing Sicklerville Rd. More on that below!
I do have the the prepared Gloucester Township Planning Meeting Agenda Packet (which is always excellently prepared) but a site plan was not available, and I do not have it to share with readers.
Unity RD SNJ – Dispensary
Unity Rd SNJ is a locally owned business, which appears to be part of America’s first cannabis retail business franchise company… Unity Rd.
The land for the proposed Sicklerville Road dispensary is currently undeveloped and mostly wooded, and is directly next to a Caliber Collision facility which sits close to the Route 42 exit ramps. The proposed Unity Rd dispensary property is two tax lots, and continues East to the nearby traffic light intersection (Hickstown Road)
Going back about 10 years ago a single family ranch home was located on the right side of the extended property directly next to the Caliber Collision center building. That home was demolished 10+ years ago.
This area is designated “HC Highway Commercial” and a marijuana retail dispensary is permitted as a conditional use in that zone. Gloucester Township has defined all of it’s cannabis zones as conditional-use which simply means… “they are allowed but we still want to hear the plans and approve the project”.
The documents submitted by the developer states the project meets all of the Township’s cannabis buffer laws including distance to other dispensaries, schools, and residential homes.
Variances are requested for “Setbacks” related to the buffer to Sicklerville Road, the new Mill Road leg, and a canopy placed on the building.
As mentioned the building will contain 4,290 square feet and include a drive-thru which will have room for 11 cars to queue.
The parking lot will have 34 spaces with one allocated for an electric charger. This is more spaces than the required amount of 22 spaces (based on building size). They expect to have 20 employees, working two shifts (10 per shift).
At the back of the properties are wetlands, so the dispensary will concentrated on the front part of the lots along Sicklerville Road.
Interestingly, the dispensary property will not have access directly onto Sicklerville Rd!
But how will drivers access the dispensary?!
To explain… well currently the Sicklerville and Hickstown Rd traffic signal intersection only has three “legs” for the intersection, as Hickstown Rd ends there and does not cross through.
As part of the developer’s project, the development team will pay the expense of extending a short road off of the traffic signal intersection, and that “4th leg” short road will allow drivers to then utilize the traffic signal to move on/off of Sickerlville Road and then turn into new dispensary parking lot.
An interesting side story to this is, if developed this would not be the first time that a the “4th leg” of the intersection was accessible to traffic!
Just outside the leftmost lot (which extends to the Hickstown Rd Intersection), today is an identified “paper road” heading from the intersection into the woods. In this case it means that the road does not physically exist today… but it’s listed on tax maps and surveys from when it did previously exist.
And where did the long-gone road go?
As shown in the above images, at one time 60+ years ago a road came through the woods (and along Noah’s Pond) and connected with the Hickstown Road intersection! The other side of that now long gone road… the Black Horse Pike! Although it would’ve appeared like an extension of Hickstown Rd, the developer documents identify the now gone segment of road as Mill Road.
The Route 42 “North-South” Freeway opened in the 1950s and for several years it was completed but the Atlantic City Expressway did not exist yet. During those years commuters on Route 42 North could exit onto that long-gone Mill Road and connect directly to the Hickstown Road intersection! That’s what the comparison image is showing!
When the AC Expressway was developed a few years later, the Mill Road connector to Hickstown was removed, the AC Expressway in this area is a much more significant and raised roadway.
But I digress.. 🙂
Unity Rd Cannabis Retail Franchise
Based on the LLC name and other research, it appears that this proposed Sicklerville Road dispensary will be part of the Unity Rd brand.
Unity Rd calls themselves “the First Cannabis Dispensary Franchise”.
Their online marketing calls out that much of the early cannabis retailers were larger corporations, and Unity Rd is looking to support the smaller business person become successful in the industry; from entrepreneurs to family teams, as well as investors.
Their plan is to provide industry knowledge in both cannabis and the retail aspects of the business, to those looking to join in on what is really a brand new industry for much of the United States. The Unity Rd franchise model allows folks who otherwise would not have the in-depth knowledge of the industry, to become successful.
The Unity Rd franchise page indicates that they have awarded over 300 franchises in more than five countries. They’ve supported franchise development for 100 plus concepts, and have one numerous industry awards.
In New Jersey a Unity Rd. location is already open in New Jersey in Somerset, although I believe that it is different franchise ownership than the location planned for Sicklerville.
Links and Location
Unity Rd SNJ – (Proposed)
2751 Sicklerville Rd
Gloucester Twp NJ
In-Person Planning Board Hearing – Gloucester Township.
January 9, 2024 at 7:00 p.m
|Council Room – Gloucester Township Municipal Building
1261 Chews Landing-Clementon Road
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021