Vote "No" to Cannabis Dispensary in Verona!

Vote "No" to Cannabis Dispensary in Verona!

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Concerned Residents of Verona started this petition to Verona Township Town Council

WHO WE ARE:

We are a group of concerned residents in Verona. We are not opposed to medical use of cannabis; we want facts to understand why we need this business in Verona. This dispensary would be in walking distance from your home and our schools and next to a major NJ Transit bus stop at Bloomfield, Pompton and Prospect Aves.

Please write to us at: keepveronasafe@gmail.com to find out how you can help. 

Educational Sites on the TRUTH ABOUT MARIJUANA:

Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy: http://nj-ramp.org/
Smart Approaches to Marijuana: http://samaction.net/
Moms Strong: https://momsstrong.org/

What is happening RIGHT NOW IN VERONA:

At a special meeting on May 21, 2020, the Verona Town Council heard a presentation by Green Thumb Industries (CSI: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF), a Canadian-based, cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of Rise and Essence retail stores. GTI is proposing the opening of a medical cannabis (marijuana) dispensary at the former Chase Bank location at 30 Pompton Avenue in Verona, NJ. The dispensary would be under the ‘Rise’ brand name.

That meeting, and any updates from the Town Council can be found at www.veronanj.org under “Government”. The town also started an online survey at https://www.planetcivic.com/initiative/7410 where approximately 300 of 13,000+ Verona residents have voted 'Yes' or 'No'. This is an unaudited, unreliable survey mechanism that is not reaching all households. We are not sure how much it weighs in the final decision.

The town is pushing hard for this, they see this as a “serious” business that will fill an empty space in town and contribute tax revenue. The CEO of Rise, Devra Karlebach, invited the council to tour the Paterson facility and our town council seems extremely impressed with the business and the presentation. Residents have been very vocal, both for and against. As such, there have been some good questions asked that have not been clearly answered. These are questions that go beyond whether you think it is OK to use medical marijuana or not; residents are trying to gain a better understanding of the future implication of this business and what it means to our town’s future.

Some of the valuable questions we have asked include:

• What restrictions is the township putting in place so that when recreational becomes legal, Rise/GTI has restrictions regarding the sale of recreational marijuana in this location?
• How will this impact our children, traffic, crime and home values?
• Will the tax revenue and the % of sales they offer offset the higher costs related to this business in our town? How much is the expected revenue? How much is an additional police salary? Do the math.

All we have are the answers that GTI provides, which of course is skewed in their favor. But the more research we do, and the more we talk to the experts, victims and law officials, the more we realize that we do not need a cannabis medical dispensary in Verona.

The way GTI works is by offering the town money and jobs. This sounds great! But it does not offset all the negatives that comes with it. This is just another way of bribery. Here are some important things to consider:

Legalized Cannabis for medicinal or recreational use is decided state by state; the federal government has not legalized it and Medical Cannabis is not approved by the FDA or the CDC.
• Rise will have an armed guard or 2 at the door, allegedly “because it is a cash business”. Why is a business/organization, who has the need for such things, a “good thing” for our community?
• GTI has spent million$ lobbying Washington to legalize recreational marijuana, to restrict craft growers from participating in selling pot and came under fire in 2019 for prohibiting its workers from unionizing. GTI is not the good guy it pretends to be. It is a corporate giant, with $100 million in sales in the first three months of 2020 alone, and they don’t want to provide pain relief to cancer patients, they want to make billions of dollars by selling pot to as many people in as little time as they can. THAT is their responsibility to their shareholders.
• The town of Clayton NJ was approached by GTI, residents turned them down. They turned to Paterson.
• There are presently only a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries in NJ, one of them in downtown Montclair (another one in the works). If Verona were next, there would be 2 to 3 such dispensaries within 1 mile from each other.
• The town has no plan for when recreational pot usage is legalized. One of the town council members stated, “…it may be an entirely new council at that time.” In other words, ‘not our problem.’ However, lawyers predict that these medical pot dispensaries will be "grandfathered " to sell recreationally to anyone when pot is legalized.

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