Raekwon Of Wu-Tang Clan Gets Local Approval For Newark Cannabis Lounge

“The vacant and dilapidated structure, which has long suffered from significant periods of disuse, is now poised for a transformative revival.”

We reported last week that New York is inching ahead of the Bay State on the social consumption front, with approval of a program that “allows cultivators to partner with retailers to present and sell their products at non-storefront locations, including on licensed cannabis farms and at approved events.”

And now, it looks like New Jersey will also beat Mass to the punch, with consumption lounges already in the works and licenses on the burner. Even better for them—one of the spots that’s being planned for Newark is owned by Wu-Tang Clan icon Raekwon, whose Hashstoria, according to a media release, is “poised to move forward with the lounge application process.”

We got the word from the firm of architect Rachael Grochowski of RHG Architecture + Design, whose client “celebrated a significant milestone last week as they received unanimous approval from the Central Planning Board to proceed with plans to renovate a historic building located at 799-805 Broad Street in downtown Newark.” This comes following the board’s rejection of the proposal in May.

According to the designers: “The vacant and dilapidated structure, which has long suffered from significant periods of disuse, is now poised for a transformative revival. The Landmark and Historic Preservation Commission greenlit the plans to renovate the facade of the building in February. Since then, Grochowski and the Hashstoria team have remained dedicated to their vision of restoring the building to a new glory while ensuring it fulfills the community’s needs.”

“We are thrilled about this project, and it represents an exciting opportunity to merge history, community, and innovation,” Rachael Grochowski said in a statement. “Our partnership with Hashstoria, founded by a collaboration of iconic rapper Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, the passionate civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers, and radio, tv personality and mental health advocate Charlamagne tha God, and others, is an intentional effort to bring forth a cannabis retail dispensary and consumption lounge that not only respects Newark’s heritage but also reflects a commitment to social justice, expungement, mental health, and creativity.” 

Grochowski added: “Design plays a crucial role in elevating the overall cannabis experience, and we are committed to creating an environment that offers a sophisticated, inclusive, and enjoyable experience. The cannabis industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation, driven by the vision and creativity of innovative designers and creatives, leaders from across the industry who are revolutionizing cannabis consumption. We are so excited to craft a space that harmonizes aesthetics, functionality, and sensory engagement, ultimately enhancing the journey of both seasoned cannabis enthusiasts and the cannabis-curious alike.”

With all that said, perhaps New Jersey’s not too far ahead of Massachusetts after all. As the media release noted (and which most national outlets will likely ignore), “the state must [still] develop regulations and issue licenses before these lounges can become operational.”