West Orange closer to first marijuana dispensary – Essex

Nordia and Darnnelle Gibbs, both long-time residents of the city of Orange, hope to open Natural Vibes by the end of the year.

West Orange has moved closer to having its first recreational marijuana business after the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved the application of Pure Natural Vibes.

Darnnelle and Nordia Gibbs, both long-time residents of the City of Orange, own the business that is transforming a former doctor’s office at 470 Prospect Ave. into a retail operation.

Nordia Gibbs said she and her husband navigated the complex cannabis application process independently, achieving significant milestones along the way. She is the chief executive officer of the company she co-owns with her husband who is an Army veteran currently serving in the Air Force and working as an Essex County Sheriff’s officer.

Nordia Gibbs said she hopes to be open within 90 days. “Defintely Q4,” she said.

Another cannabis business close to opening is The Library, whose owners have said they hope to open at 24 Park Ave. by the end of this year as well.

In December of 2022, the Gibbs obtained a Resolution of Local Support from West Orange township (as their residing township of Orange, opted out of establishing cannabis businesses within its borders).

Subsequently, they secured site control for their approved location at 470 Prospect Ave. in West Orange, across from TGI Fridays, and recently received annual approval from the cannabis commission.

“It is a momentous achievement for both of us as we have invested our time and efforts to understanding the regulations, searching for properties, speaking at numerous council meetings; all of which has brought us to where we are today,” Nordia Gibbs said. “Witnessing everything fall into place is truly gratifying. We are excited about expanding our team and passing on our knowledge to fellow entrepreneurs in the field.”

On June 28, Pure Natural Vibes successfully obtained planning board approval from West Orange Planning Board, to move forward with their Cannabis Dispensary at that site.

Presently, their focus lies in finalizing the renovations at their dispensary location.

“It’s a pretty open floor plan,” Nordia said. “No walls being moved, it’s a quick turnaround time.

Because it’s only an interior remodel, they are just checking out electrical and sheetrock, to reconfigure the interior.”

The space is 2,500 square feet and will have an open floor plan.

“It’s clean, modern,” Nordia Gibbs said. “Tons of parking in the back. Fifty-two spaces in the parking lot and we have access to a neighboring parking lot so it’s 75 total.”

The Gibbs hope to get people in and out quickly with an educated staff and an online ordering menu so people can order ahead of time.

“We’ll have happy, friendly budtenders, knowledge budtenders, and fast turnaround,” Nordia Gibbs said. “We will push the online order. Online offerings will be updated every day.”

The business will carry about 300 items, including edibles, flower and possibly drinks but they will not carry vape items.

“We want to be conscious of the children in the community,” Nordia Gibbs said. “We pledged not to carry vapes.”

The township had a big push against vaping in high school and people in the community had spoken out against it.

An artist rendering of what Natural Vibes will look like when it is finished.






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