The closed Arby’s on the Mantua Pike (Rt 45) in Woodbury could see new life soon, as the property is planned to become a retail cannabis dispensary owned by Nova Farms.
While this is not a “done deal” related to all of the necessary approvals, it is already a fair distance down the path to approval.
New Jersey State Cannabis approval laws require the town to formerly authorize a resolution in support of the dispensary at the location before the application can be submitted to the State. Woodbury did authorize the resolution for Nova Farms Dispensary on Mantua Pike.
The former Arby’s property is located directly across from the Acme supermarket, and sits between a Patient First Urgent Care and the newly built Chase Bank.
Arby’s at this Woodbury location closed 3 years ago this month (NJ.com) and has been up for sale since. A loyal 42Freeway follower noted the For Sale signage was removed recently and reached out to me.
We aren’t aware at this time if Nova Farms plans to keep and modify the existing building, or will rebuild.
Looking at Woodbury local cannabis laws, drive-thru sales are not allowed.
Initial Woodbury Approval
A cannabis retail license in New Jersey requires approval from both the local town government and the State Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Well first each town needs to pass laws and resolutions defining if cannabis businesses are allowed in town, and defining the core rules for the businesses such as acceptable locations. Woodbury maintains a very nice summary page of the regulations.
For an individual application, the New Jersey cannabis licensing process first requires a town to pass a resolution in support of the individual company’s plans to open a dispensary within the community. This would include clear support of the location of the dispensary to ensure it meets local zoning laws.
I imagine the need for Town approval first is because the State does not want to churn significant resources on a variety of applications only to find out later that the local town would not approve.
In the case of the Nova Farms dispensary for the former Arby’s, in March of this year Woodbury passed resolution 22-70 which says (Snippets):
2) The City recognizes that Nova Farms Woodbury LLC will be operating a Class 5 cannabis retail business involved in the sale of cannabis products to consumers and that the Class 5 cannabis retail location will be located at 642 Mantua Blvd, Woodbury New Jersey if approved by the State of New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.Portions of City of Woodbury Resolution 22-70: Nova Farms Cannabis Retail Application for 642 Mantua Blvd.
4) Nova Farms Woodbury LLC’s proposed Class 5 cannabis retail use and location satisfy the City’s zoning and Cannabis Ordinances.
7) The City approves Nova Farms Woodbury’s application submitted to the city and supports Nova Farms application be submitted to the Commission…
So basically the town has had to already give support for the project.
With that resolution, Nova Farm LLC can move forward with their plans to formally submit the application to the State Commission.
I assume the next steps would be gaining approval from the State Commission. I personally don’t know the details of that process or how long it can take.
Nova Farms Acquired Arby’s Property
In the same month as the resolution (March 2022), Nova Farms Woodbury LLC took ownership of the 642 Mantua Pike property.
The County online document repository only lists a Notice of Settlement and at this time does not include the sale price information.
Nova Farms – Woolwich Outdoor Grow Farm Also Proposed
Nova Farms is a New England based cannabis company currently with a presence in Massachusetts and Maine. They are targeting New Jersey for expansion.
They currently operate cultivation centers in those two States, and to support the Nova Farms growth into New Jersey they are looking to establish an outdoor cannabis farm in Woolwich Township.
In February of this year the company presented their plans to the town. New Town Press covered the story and states that Woolwich did gave their support via a resolution. It still would need State approval.
If Nova Farms obtains their requested licensing, they plan to purchase almost 70 acres of land at Russell Mill Road and grow approximately 3.5 acres of cannabis towards the center of their property. This would allow for roughly 1,000 feet of distance between the crop and residential areas, with additional separation provided by the company’s proposed fencing and security.New Town Press
We’ll have more on this at a later time.
Links and Locations
Nova Farms Retail Dispensary Woodbury (Not Open)
642 Mantua Pike
Woodbury NJ, 08096