South Toms River Cannabis Dispensary Seeking Expansion – Brick, NJ Shorebeat — News, Real Estate, Events, Community, Sports, Business

Ocean County’s first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

A recreational cannabis dispensary that opened last summer in South Toms River is already looking to expand on its initial success.

The Social Leaf is one of a growing number of dispensaries serving the area, despite most Shore area municipalities having passed ordinances to prohibit recreational sales. South Toms River, however, bucked the trend, and the Social Leaf has thrived in a county that had the highest number of medical marijuana patients in the state before recreational use was legalized via referendum.

The business, headed by five local partners, will appear before the South Toms River land use board Feb. 20 to pitch an expansion plan based at the current location at 334 Atlantic City Boulevard (Route 9). The dispensary is currently located in a strip mall, just across the waterway from downtown Toms River, along with the Dicky’s Dogs hot dog eatery.

The Social Leaf will request approval to construct a two-story addition with a landing and stairs in the rear of the building on the south side of the structure. The addition will consist of 230 square feet on the first floor, which will be reserved for expanded retail, and 291 square feet on the second floor to be used for an office. The business’s offices are currently located on the first floor.

Ocean County's first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Ocean County’s first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Ocean County's first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Ocean County’s first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Ocean County's first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Ocean County’s first recreational cannabis dispensary, The Social Leaf, July 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Though the formal application calls for a number of variances to be issued by land use board, the vast majority had already been approved when the store was first given the green light to open. These variances are generally ratified by the board as a formality. A new variance being requested is for the building’s rear setback of 21.9 feet, where 40 feet is normally required.

The Social Leaf was issued its recreational cannabis license in 2022 and opened in the early summer of 2023. Shorebeat published a profile on the business and interviewed several of its partners at the time of the opening.

The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at 19 Double Trouble Road, South Toms River.

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