In a joyous and momentous occasion, the city of East Orange gathered today to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for The Flower Garden Dispensary, a pioneering black-owned business set to revolutionize the cannabis industry in the area. The project, which will be constructed by skilled union labor, marks a significant step forward in promoting diversity, economic growth, and job creation within the community.
The motion to change the June decision passed 3-1, with Commissioner Charles Barker voting no. Barker, often the lone ‘no’ vote, defended the initial one-year timeline as a move that would have helped people most harmed by marijuana prohibition. He emphasized that New Jersey’s marijuana legalization law is “about righting the wrongs of the failed drug war, period, hard stop.”
Chairwoman Dianne Houenou argued Black and brown business owners would have been shut out if the commission retained the one-year priority period.
Dana Rone feels she is going to be The Queen of Cannabis.
Come 2024, Rone will be opening a one-of-a-kind retail cannabis dispensary at 381 Martin Luther King Blvd. at the intersection of Main Street. The multi-use building has four stories and Rone has a vision for each level.
The first level will be a quiet zone—a learning center. The second level will be a cannabis bar with a karaoke space and a pool table. The third level will be a rental space for painting and yoga. And then there’s the rooftop for those who want to relax and read when they can’t make it to the beach.
In a pioneering move that aims to reshape the perception and utilization of cannabis, a group of visionaries has embarked on a transformative journey to establish a cannabis lounge in the heart of East Orange. Led by Dana Rone, a former politician and community advocate, alongside local entrepreneurs Jose Rivera III and East Orange native, Dawn Middleton, this groundbreaking initiative seeks to create a safe, inclusive, and educational space for cannabis enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
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.
East Orange City Council has approved a legal weed dispensary applicant represented by a lobbying firm belonging to New Jersey’s state Democratic Chair Leroy Jones Jr. while rejecting a local applicant who had pointed out that connection, a move that drew scorn from residents at a council meeting.
Jones, an East Orange resident, is chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee and the East Orange Democratic Municipal Committee Chairman. He’s also held the post of city administrator.
At the upcoming Monday East Orange City Council meeting, Osagie-Erese has called for residents and other cannabis advocates to challenge what they say could be a backdoor deal hiding in plain sight.
“We have been championing a safe and equitable New Jersey cannabis industry with an intentional focus to build and support our hometown,” Osagie-Erese said in a released statement.
Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, said it’s about ensuring the market is implemented properly. He also said it would ensure that homegrown New Jersey companies will not be overlooked for larger established companies coming from out of state.
“I think the commission has taken deliberate steps to make sure that we get it right,” DeVeaux said. “There was no playbook. Everyone is doing this for the first time”
On an icy Saturday morning, some 50 people gathered in an upstairs event room at East Orange Public Library. Some kept to themselves and picked up free coffee and iced donuts, while others wondered aloud how the next few months would unfold for them.
Today, they weren’t checking out books. They were receiving free legal assistance to expunge marijuana possession and other charges from their records.
A three-part expungement program twill begin Saturday, February 5, 2022. Phase one will provide attendees with information from the participating law firms on the expungement process while collecting case work information. During phase two, attendees will be matched with an attorney for a one-on-one consultation. In the last phase, petitions for attendees with “qualifying” criminal convictions and dismissed charges will be filed and processed for expungement.