An East Orange resident is expressing disappointment after finding out plans for a legal marijuana dispensary in her hometown would have to be put on hold. Precious Osagie-Erese’s application was denied municipal approval, a major barrier many other Black and brown cannabis businesses are facing across the state.
Shayla Cabrera is the CEO and founder of Tia Planta and one of the only women in the state with a license to grow marijuana. She has had trouble finding a location in a municipality that allows recreational sales. “It’s extremely discouraging to know that not one Black or brown operator has crossed the finish line and entered the market yet … when we were promised social equity. As we know the criminalization of the plant, most heavily impacted in a negative way our communities. So, therefore, these opportunities should be going to people like myself,” Cabrera said.