Recreational cannabis sales have taken place in the City of Lambertville for years, but the first legal sales at an authorized business in the city took place this week.
Union Chill Cannabis Company at 204 North Union Street opened its doors Wednesday for customers. The woman-owned business is opening under New Jersey’s new recreational cannabis law.
Laurie McHugh, a co-founder of Union Chill, expressed her pride over the opening of the retail store.
“This journey has been nothing short of incredible, and I am thrilled to open our doors and start serving our community, family, and friends,” she said.
The new business aims to mix integrity, social responsibility, and economic success with what is billed as “craft cannabis.”
“At Union Chill, we firmly believe in the transformative power of cannabis and are deeply committed to our role in the community,” McHugh said.
The store’s staff believes the dispensary’s North Union Street location will fit in well with the town known for antique shops, eclectic galleries, and cozy coffee shops.
McHugh emphasized the company’s commitment to meeting customers wherever they may be, noting legalized recreational cannabis is new for some.
“Regardless of your background or experience, we will leverage our local roots and extensive knowledge of cannabis to meet you exactly where you are,” she said.
Alexis Berends, the chief visionary officer for Union Chill, has had family in Lambertville going back seven generations.
“I am absolutely delighted to open our dispensary doors in the Spokeworks Building, located on the same block that my family has called home for generations,” she said.
Union Chill has worked to assemble a team of locals to man the store and make customers feel welcome.
“As we embark on this journey to serve not only our workplace but our hometown, we aim to become a trusted community resource and a beacon of justice in our ongoing battle against the outdated stigmas and effects of cannabis prohibition,” she said.
The closest dispensaries to Lambertville sit in Pennington and Flemington.
In addition to New Jersey legalizing recreational cannabis following a referendum vote in 2020, Lambertville changed their ordinances to allow recreation marijuana businesses.
“Union Chill became the first retail cannabis shop to open its doors in the City. Congratulations!” Lambertville Mayor Andrew Nowick wrote in his weekly newsletter.
He added: “I’d like to recognize Council President Steve Stegman, former Councilman Ward Sanders and everyone in the community who participated in crafting our Ordinance to allow for retail cannabis. Following adoption of the Ordinance, three companies submitted applications to the Planning Board – resulting in some very late-night meetings – and now we join other municipalities in the state who are at the forefront of this significant shift in cultural attitudes. This also marks the beginning of a new revenue stream – a 2% local transfer tax that, by state law, must be paid monthly to the City.”
Recreational cannabis remains illegal in Pennsylvania. However, Pennsylvania does have legal medical marijuana.