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Nearly a year since the state Department of Environmental Protection fined the operator of a marijuana grow facility on Route 22, the site is fully operational with odor-control systems in place.
But some neighboring residents say the smell of "skunk" persists and still causes issues.
Brenda Omilian, who has lived in Readington her entire life, gathered a petition with more than 100 signatures in protest of the Verano Holdings Cannabis Grow Facility and gave it to the township, but she said "they never responded."
There are a few communities currently considering plans. A handful of others already have been adjusting to legal medical grow sites as new neighbors, while a few spots in South Jersey have embraced the job creation that comes with the new business.
It can be a contentious relationship — such as in one Hunterdon County town, which this month reversed course on previous plans and prohibited any cannabis facilities from being set up in the community.
Alexandria votes down marijuana
After Readington residents created a petition to deal with the marijuana smell emanating from a former Walmart, Verano, one of the largest medical marijuana cultivators who purchased the building, wrote a letter to the Mayor of Readington about what they plan to do about the odor.
A marijuana cultivation plant in New Jersey is causing a stir for people who live nearby because of the odor.
The smell is coming from the old shuttered Walmart. The building is now home to a medical and adult use marijuana production site, owned by Verano holdings.
Those who drive along a short stretch of Route 22 through Reading are bound to catch a quick whiff.
Check the yard for skunks all you want, but it appears the smell is coming from a different source in one North Jersey town. Verano Holdings, a medical-marijuana cultivator, replaced a vacant Walmart in Readington, and some neighbors are noticing its stench, according to News 12 New Jersey.
Verano announced the move into the 120,000-square foot cultivation facility last April. With brands such as Zen Leaf and MÜV, the company has firmly established itself in the medical-marijuana industry.
About eight months ago, neighbors say they started smelling what they thought were skunks, but it turns out it was the growing operation. The land is zoned for agriculture use, and Verano was granted a license to operate in early 2020.
Some neighbors say they had no idea marijuana would take over the retail space previously run by Walmart, and want to know why a company considered to be one of the leading producers of medical marijuana in the country simply can't control the smell.
The state Department of Health has issued permits for three companies to begin growing medical marijuana and eventually opening dispensaries.
The permits were awarded to Verano, which plans to turn a vacant Walmart on Route 22 in Readington into a medical marijuana production facility; MPX NJ in Pleasantville and Columbia Care NJ in Vineland.
After their products are tested by the state and their dispensaries are ready to be operational, a second permit will be issued to operate an alternative treatment center.
Verano in Readington, MPX New Jersey in Pleasantville, and Columbia Care New Jersey in Vineland were granted medical cannabis cultivation permits, the New Jersey Department of Health announced Tuesday.
This marks the permitting of five of the “new six” medical cannabis businesses awarded licenses by New Jersey in December 2018. There has been movement in this space multiple times in the last two months.
With Green Township continuing to weigh the future of an ordinance allowing medical marijuana cultivation in the township, the state announced Tuesday the granting of medical marijuana growing permits to three more companies.
Three medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey moved closer to opening their doors.
Regulators awarded permits to grow medical marijuana to three more companies, the state health department said Tuesday:
- Columbia Care NJ.
- MPX NJ.
The cultivation licensing round advances a process that began more than a year ago in an effort to stimulate the state’s MMJ industry.