A company seeking to open a marijuana cultivation facility and a dispensary in the city faced opposition from South Paterson residents at a townhall meeting on Wednesday night.
Dozens of people packed the cafeteria at the Board of Education to hear from both municipal and GTI New Jersey officials about the proposed facilities. Majority of the attendees spoke out against having a facility in their neighborhood.
“I’m afraid if my kids grow up in the city, where there is a weed dispensary, they are going to get their hands on it,” said Sanan Ramadan.
“Your child or my child could just as easily text their illicit drug dealer,” replied Pete Kadens, co-founder of Green Thumb Industries (GTI). He said the aim of regulating cannabis is to extinguish the illegal market.
Some of the opponents thought the firm is opening a dispensary in South Paterson.
However, Devra Karlebach, chief executive officer for GTI, said the company is opening a cultivation facility at the former Continental Can Company site, 279 Getty Avenue, a massive factory, possibly the largest in the Silk City. She said a dispensary will be opened at 194 3rd Avenue.
Karlebach said the firm will invest $15 million in the city. Initially, there will be 34 jobs, but as the plants mature the firm will add 38 more for processing.
In all the firm will create 150 jobs, said Karlebach.