ORANGE, NJ — Earlier this year, the State legalized marijuana for recreational use. This legalization is expected to open up a major industry of stores, delivery services, smoke bars, etc. Legalizing marijuana is being referred to as the new prohibition lift — the birth of a new legal multi-billion dollar industry. With black and brown people having been incarcerated more than any other people for marijuana, there were opportunity zones put into the legislation for municipalities most negatively impacted. East Orange and Orange were advocated for by State legislator Britnee N. Timberlake to be opportunity zones for black and brown owned marijuana businesses to be given certain preferences to ensure advancement.
In March, the City of Orange Township's Council voted to ban the marijuana industry in the town. During a long public comment session at this meeting, over three dozen residents interested in starting legal marijuana businesses, or frequenting them, asked council to allow the industry to come to Orange. The council did not oblige the request.
Now, Saturday, April 17th at 1:00 PM, there will be a cannabis informational forum for the City of Orange hosted by the HUBB, the Mayor, and two council members who voted against the ban.