Home Essex County New Cannabis Dispensary, The Kush Connection, Coming to Montclair

New Cannabis Dispensary, The Kush Connection, Coming to Montclair

by Stephanie Spear
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A long-empty building at 135 Valley Road in Montclair will begin a new chapter in 2024 when cannabis dispensary The Kush Connection moves in. The Kush Connection is a family-owned enterprise with roots right here in Montclair. The Montclair Girl spoke to the team about the business and what neighbors can expect from this new business. Read on for more about The Kush Connection, coming in 2024 to Montclair, NJ.

kush connection

About The Kush Connection

The Kush Connection is a family-run business. The Kushner family has lived in Montclair since the 1990s and company president Jake is a graduate of Montclair High School. Matriarch Patty Steele Kushner said that she chose Montclair as a home base even before her children were born, and the process of opening a business in town has led her to learn even more about her beloved city.

Read More: Maplewood Village’s First Woman-Owned Cannabis Shop is Now Open

The Ivy at Chatham

“Throughout this whole process, we’ve been getting to know people, attending town council meetings, working with leadership,” Patty said. “We are learning more about the culture of cannabis in a town like Montclair. I didn’t want to come in and open a business that wouldn’t fit in. Through this experience, I’ve been falling in love with a new layer of Montclair and the sensibilities of the town. This business is going to be heavily infused with what Montclair is all about.”

a drawing of the exterior of The Kush Connection

^ Artwork by Julian Gelbard

In addition to making sure that the business will make sense in Montclair, the Kushners say that the dispensary’s design has been inspired by Steve and Patty Steele Kushner’s long-standing careers in broadcast media. “I’ve traveled around the country and visited many dispensaries,” Patty said. “Some felt like a bus station and others like a makeup boutique. We want to have something in the middle. It’s going to be about how music is influenced by cannabis. The space will represent music and art.”

As the family was thinking about getting started with the business, they came upon the building at 135 Valley Road. The building sits across from the popular Tierney’s Tavern and was built in the early 1900’s. “The building was originally a store,” Patty said. “But, it’s been vacant for the past 15 years. If you looked at it now, it would scare you; it’s falling apart. We’ve been working to shore up the structure and then we will be getting started on the interior. We can turn into something really interesting.”

Patty, a self-described history buff, currently hosts a podcast called The Backstory with Patty Steele. The podcast focuses on the background stories of famous people and events. Eventually, Patty would like to host a podcast that combines cannabis and music. “We want to make the third floor of the building a podcasting studio,” she said. “We want to interview musicians and other creatives about how they use cannabis. Or host live broadcasts from the dispensary. There’s a lot we could do.”

What to Expect

The business received one of several approvals from the Montclair Township Planning Board earlier in January. Per Montclair Local, the business has received operating permits from the city but still needs to get site permits.

Jake says that there is still a way to go before the doors of The Kush Connection are officially opened. “The permitting process has taken much longer than any of us have anticipated,” he said. In addition to the approval process for selling cannabis, the team has been working with the relevant authorities to get the building construction squared away. “Right now we hope to open in late summer 2024,” Jake said.

See More: Hoboken Dispensary ‘Terrapin Care Station’ Open on River Street

As far as what neighbors can expect, both Patty and Jake say that their goal is to create a business that works in Montclair. “We want to show that this is a family-owned and operated business that people can respect,” Jake said. “We want to fit in Montclair’s culture and create something that the town can be proud of.”

logo for the kush connection

^ Artwork by Julian Gelbard

The two say that they are eager to get involved with the community through the intersection of cannabis and social justice. “Community outreach is really important to us. we’ve been in discussions with Dr. Dunn, he does a lot of different social justice activities and outreach. we plan to work with him to benefit the town,” Jake said. “We are thinking about running a few programs on our own. We have a lot of ideas.”

Patty and Jake are excited about connecting with other Montclair residents through their business. They anticipate a July or August 2024 opening date for The Kush Connection.

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