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Behind the beige walls of this former 120,000-square-foot Walmart store in Branchburg, N.J., blooms an emerald green indoor cannabis farm for multi-state operator Verano Holdings Corp.
After winning a permit in 2018 from the New Jersey to supply cannabis for the Garden State’s medical program, Verano’s VRNOF VRNO cultivation facility now grows and processes jars of dried flower, pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes, gummies and vaping oil for the company’s Zen Leaf dispensaries in the state.
New Jersey regulators fined five marijuana multistate operators a total of $360,000 for allegedly making nearly 3,200 adult-use sales in April during hours that were to be set aside for medical cannabis patients.
Bloomberg News reported the fines, based on state cannabis commission documents obtained through an Open Public Records Act request.
The enforcement action shows that New Jersey regulators were serious when they said they intended to fine marijuana companies in the state $10,000 a day if they didn’t prioritize MMJ patients.
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."
Curaleaf Holdings Inc. and four other dispensaries with locations in New Jersey processed almost 3,200 recreational sales during hours that should have been reserved for medical patients, according to state cannabis commission documents obtained through an Open Public Records Act request.