New Jersey’s Saint Peter’s University last week filed a lawsuit against a commercial cannabis applicant and the Jersey City Planning Board over the company’s plans to open a dispensary and lounge near the college’s dormitories, according to the Hudson Reporter. The lawsuit names Medusa NJ and the planning board, arguing that the board’s approval of the business was “arbitrary and capricious” on several counts, and is asking the court to void it.
Haytham Elgawly, the owner of Medusa, is seeking to convert his clothing store into a retail cannabis store and consumption lounge, which the university has opposed since it was proposed in April. The planning board approved Elgawly’s application despite the college’s opposition.
During an appearance before the city’s Cannabis Control Board in June, University President Eugene Cornacchia said the college opposed the cannabis businesses over concerns about crowd control and security for students living in residence halls.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for Saint Peter’s argue that the Planning Board approval violates a city ordinance requiring a dispensary’s main door to be within 200 feet from a school based on the city’s Drug-Free School and Park Zone Map and that Medusa’s door would be just 65 feet from one of the college’s dorms. The lawsuit alleges that the Planning Board used a map called the Cannabis Retail Buffer Map that did not include colleges and universities.
The lawsuit further claims that the board did not consider the “negative impact” of the businesses on the college’s under-21 student population and the wider community, the report says.
Medusa has received a conditional license from New Jersey but still needs final approval from the City Council.
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