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Rocking the Weed Scene: How a Legendary Radio Family is Revolutionizing Montclair’s Cannabis Experience!

The family-owned cannabis retail business, Kush Connection, recently secured unanimous approval from the Montclair Planning Board. This green light comes just one week after Montclair's sole dispensary, Ascend, relocated to Wharton. Positioned at 135 Valley Road in Montclair’s Frog Hollow neighborhood, Kush Connection is set to become a unique fixture in the community by year's end.

With a provisional license from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission and one of only three potential cannabis retail licenses in Montclair, the board’s approval is a critical step toward the Kushners' vision of a dispensary unlike any other.

Jake Kushner, who will serve as Kush Connection's general manager, is eager to bring a fresh, vibrant experience to Montclair. Drawing on his family's deep roots in the radio and music industry, Jake envisions a dispensary that feels more like a backstage pass to a concert than a typical retail store.

Jake's parents, Patty Steele and Steve Kingston, are seasoned radio professionals. Patty, a well-known disc jockey, and Steve, a former program director, met at a radio station in Pittsburgh. Their careers in New York's top stations, such as WCBS and Z100, have provided them with a treasure trove of musical memorabilia. This rich history will be integral to Kush Connection's atmosphere.

“When I look at other dispensaries, a lot of them feel like a CVS,” Jake explained. “I thought, ‘How can we build something different?’” The answer lies in creating a unique ambiance that blends musical nostalgia with modern cannabis culture.

Jake likened the customer experience at Kush Connection to a “green room backstage” at a concert. The store will feature posters, signed guitars, and other musical artifacts. Branded tie-ins with musical artists for unique cannabis strains are a future goal, but initially, the focus will be on cultivating a distinctive store ambiance.

The Kushners' passion for music and cannabis is evident in their plans. “It was a match made in heaven,” Jake said, referring to his parents' careers and the new venture. Marijuana has long been intertwined with American music, from jazz to hip-hop, making the fusion of the two a natural fit for Kush Connection.

The dispensary will span two floors: the ground floor will sell cannabis products, while the second floor will offer branded merchandise and a lounge area, complete with a vintage jukebox. Despite the inviting atmosphere, on-site consumption will not be allowed due to local regulations.

Kush Connection aims to be fully operational by late fall or winter, pending the final approvals. While the journey has been lengthy, the Kushners are committed to bringing their unique vision to life. “Everything about this process is taking longer than I realized,” Jake admitted, but the family remains optimistic about their timeline.

As Montclair welcomes Kush Connection, residents can look forward to a dispensary that not only offers quality cannabis products but also pays homage to the rich tapestry of American music. With their innovative approach, the Kushners are set to redefine the cannabis retail experience in Montclair.

Can Music and Marijuana Create the Ultimate Retail Experience? Tell Us What You Think!

  • Yes, it’s a perfect match!

  • No, they should remain separate.

  • I’m curious to see how it works.

  • Not interested in either.


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