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Sunday, July 21, 2024

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Cannabis Retail Shop in Middle Apparently Delayed

Insa Middle Township
An artist’s rendering of Insa’s planned cannabis retail store in Middle Township.

By Vince Conti

COURT HOUSE – July 14 is Bastille Day, a national holiday in France celebrated with parades, fireworks and parties. It is a day for remembering one of the great revolutions against monarchical rule.

July 14 was also the target date for the opening of the Insa Middle Township cannabis retail store at the intersection of Avalon Boulevard and Route 9 south.

But that target date apparently will not be met, judging from a comment made by Mayor Christopher Leusner at the July 1 Township Committee meeting and observations of the site.

Leusner first reiterated that the township would not support any new applications for a retail cannabis shop until officials had an opportunity to monitor the experience with the Insa location. He then added that he hoped the Insa store would be open by the end of the year.

In February Insa’s attorney, Joseph Kelley III, told the Township Committee that Insa planned to spend up to $2.3 million in preparation for the store’s opening, which he predicted would come in May or June. Later, July 14 became the target date.

When the Planning Board in January granted Insa a site plan waiver allowing it to open the store, there were some conditions, including remediation of a drainage problem at the property’s entrance, lighting and landscaping requirements, and a commitment to living within the existing signage footprint.

But the renovation work at the site does not appear to be completed. Two recent visits to the site by a reporter found a dumpster outside and no work activity going on.

A request for comment by Insa received no reply.

The site for the store is an old Wawa facility turned dermatology clinic.

Kelley, Insa’s attorney, said in February that the owner of the site and state cannabis license, Insa Middle Township, is the product of a merger between Insa Massachusetts, a multistate cannabis business owner, and Restore, a company based in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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