America’s first brewery and favorite pastime (baseball) can be counted among the firsts that happened in Hoboken. Now, the Mile Square City welcomes another “first” with The Station, Hoboken’s first cannabis dispensary, which is officially open to qualified medical patients.
“I’m so excited to be bringing the first legal dispensary to Hoboken,” says Founder Joseph Castelo. “I’m excited for the community, the jobs that we’ll create, the events we’ll have — it’s just going to bring a new dimension to the downtown area that will add a lot of culture to Hoboken.”
Creating Ties to the Local Community
Located .2 miles from the PATH train in the heart of downtown Hoboken, New Jersey, Terrapin Care Station (“The Station”) now services the nearly 1,000 medical marijuana cardholders in the area within a stunning 5,000-square-foot space. As a Hoboken native with deep ties to the local community, Castelo brings the area’s medical cannabis patients clean, high-quality curated cannabis products that exceed state testing standards.
A work of art within the space, The Station provides a warm and welcoming environment that transports patients to the Golden Age of train travel with its old fashioned interior and exterior features.
“I designed The Station and I did it as an homage to the train station, so it’s a part of our brand identity and aesthetic identity as well. Part of what we’re doing is destigmatizing the use of cannabis within the local community. I went with stained glass windows because most dispensaries are blacked out and I wanted some light to come through. Even though the people outside still cannot see the inside, they can see the lights,” Castelo explains.
The Station is Your Destination
The Station even has refurbished church pews in the lobby, as well as a mellotron. With this, patients are able to come in and dial on the board the issue they are seeking help with, such as creativity, focus or sleep. With the algorithm of the menu, it then starts flipping like an old analog train station sign, picks three items from the menu that match what the patient is looking for, and customers are then able to scan a code that brings up the products on their phones.
“We’ve been going by the tagline with our patients, ‘What’s your destination?’ People have different reasons for using cannabis and they just come to us. That’s who we are as a brand — bringing people to their destination,” says Castelo.
Bringing Cannabis to Hoboken
Before founding The Station, Castelo was an indie filmmaker who leveraged his business acumen to build successful and thriving Hoboken businesses: Antique Bar & Bakery, The Antique Loft and Sweven, a members-only co-working space. He resides in the Mile Square City with his wife and writing partner Ashley and their two daughters.
Castelo is passionate about his local community and bringing more jobs to the area. Through the opening of The Station, he has created up to 45 jobs for the city’s economy. Another great part is bringing cannabis to Hoboken.
“I have always been engaged with cannabis in one form or another. I was excited that it was even possible in the state of New Jersey” Castelo explains. “We found the perfect location right next to the train station, so there was some discussion with the community, and when I realized it was possible, I jumped at the opportunity to open The Station.”
After years of applying, regulatory compliance, speaking to different community members and putting their plans forward, The Station is finally open and catering to patients. It represents a new era for ending cannabis prohibition, access to medical cannabis products and a safe space to move the conversation forward.