Hopewell Borough in central New Jersey is the latest target of a lawsuit alleging corruption by local officials in a competitive marijuana licensing process, with losing applicant Sourland Provisions claiming that the mayor of the town and several other officials wrongly aided a winning license holder, Evolve Sky.
Sourland Provisions tried to win a retail cannabis permit in the town, but was rejected reportedly due to a late fee payment, NJ Advance Media reported.
In its lawsuit against the town, the company alleged that Mayor Paul Anzano acted as a legal advisor to Evolve Sky prior to Hopewell Borough formally opting in to recreational cannabis sales. The suit also asserts that the city’s former municipal clerk was involved, and that both Anzano and the clerk had conflicts of interest.
“Mayor Anzano began aiding Evolve Sky’s efforts to establish operations in the borough, referring to himself as Evolve’s ‘advisor’ with respect to its plans to obtain municipal approval for several types of adult-use cannabis businesses,” the lawsuit claims.