A marijuana dispensary and lounge is one step closer to being a reality in Atlantic City's Claridge Hotel.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority gave its approval for a 10,000-square-foot cannabis lounge and dispensary on the first floor of the same parcel of land on which the founder of Atlantic City, Jeremiah Leeds, built his family settlement in the late 1700s.

The Claridge Hotel at Park Place and Pacific Avenue opened in 1930 and added gambling in 1981. When the property was sold by Bally's in 2014, it returned to a stand-alone hotel without casino gambling

A company called High Rollers Dispensary LLC, which has existing weed businesses in  Colorado, Oklahoma, and Maine submitted the plan to the CRDA. The company will still need a license from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission., according to the Press of Atlantic City.

This plan met with little trouble passing because the site is in the city's "green zone", an area pre-approved by Atlantic city for the sale of marijuana.

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission is still finalizing the rules for the sale and use of recreational marijuana. In late January, a draft proposal of the rules for "marijuana lounge cannabis consumption areas" was released which would ban consumption areas from selling food or drink. Customers would be able to bring their own food or have it delivered, but it couldn't be sold by the dispensary.

Written comments are being accepted on the proposed rules by the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission through March 18th.

One condition of the CRDA's approval for the Claridge site for a cannabis dispensary and lounge was that security guards be on-site before the dispensary opens in the morning to handle crowd control.

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