The newest addition to the Hoboken landscape will be a hemp café with an eye on eventually becoming a social cannabis consumption site.
For the team putting the Honey Vault together, it is both the latest step in a relatively long career in the cannabis industry and the culmination of a life-long dream to create a hometown business.
The Honey Vault is the latest incarnation of the nightclub space at 16 Hudson Place, right across the street from the Hoboken NJ Transit Terminal. David Serrano and his partners – more than half of whom are Hoboken natives – are the new tenants in the two-story building that most recently housed The Hub.
It’s not only an ideal location to draw foot traffic, it’s a space that can serve as a hemp cafe and a place to incubate opportunities, Serrano says.
It’s Phase 1 of a multi-phase process. The next step is to get a cannabis dispensary license and then to ultimately be the first social consumption site in the state. The team also will host free expungement clinics for Hoboken residents with low level cannabis convictions.
The phased implementation approach is the key to ensuring success, Serrano says.
As opposed to many cannabis operations that require massive amounts of upfront capital in anticipation of long-term payoff when adult-use marijuana is legalized and federal restrictions on tax deductions are lifted, the Honey Vault is positioned to be bring in revenue from the beginning.
“We’re not making investments that will be paying off five years from now. We’ve already done that – investing our time for the last seven years,” Serrano told NJ Cannabis Media. “When we approach business, we approach it from phased implementation and every phase has revenue sources that complement the end result.”
For Todd Scatini, the Honey Vault is the fulfillment of a mission.
“The evolution of this building, executed by native New Jerseyans, natives of Hoboken, Puerto Ricans – it is so inspiring. It is something of epic proportions,” says Scatini, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and a West Point graduate, who is CEO of Harvest 360 Tech.
Serrano is also chief technology officer at Harvest 360 Tech, a technology holding company that licenses IP to cannabis operators and stakeholders, and a consulting firm that provides sustainable cannabis business development solutions. Blue Diamond Ventures Inc. recently signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Harvest 360. The LOI will make H360 Tech a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc. an emerging growth company publicly traded on the OTC Markets (BLDV). The Honey Vault and Harvest 360 are separate and distinct business operations.
Serrano is a fourth-generation Hoboken resident, whose family was forced to rebuild their life when he was 9 and everything was lost in a fire. A Navy veteran, he first became involved with cannabis by making edibles to help his mother who suffers from lupus and fibromyalgia. After an injury during a shipboard emergency, Serrano was dependent on painkillers and opioids during his stateside recuperation. Following his discharge, Serrano moved to Colorado so he could participate in the medical marijuana program, calling himself a “medical refugee” from New Jersey.
An industry veteran and a strong proponent of minority participation in the cannabis industry, Serrano wants to change the industry’s model for success – big multi-state corporations with tens of millions of dollars of capital.
“That’s a blueprint made up by people with a lot of money that can afford it,” he says. “It makes all the other opportunities look not so professional because maybe it’s not the biggest facility in the world. You have a lot of people trying to get into the industry that can’t because they can’t compete with that kind of money.”
Serrano wants to prove that you can.