What’s that smell? Former Walmart in NJ now growing marijuana — and tensions are high
Earlier this month, I wrote about how one of the largest medical marijuana farming companies in the United States has opened a new medical marijuana farming facility inside a vacant Readington Walmart.
Verano Holdings was issued a license of operation earlier this year to move into the vacant retail location on Route 22 and begin their factory.
Local residents seemed to not be aware of this new facility until they began to smell the results.
“I represent Verano and we saw your web story about the Readington Cultivation center. We do want your readers and listeners to know we have a comprehensive action plan to address the concern, and we’re waiting on local approval and permits to be issued. Attached is a letter we've sent the Mayor and a statement.”
Per his request to update my readers on actions being taken, I share with you his letter drafted and sent to Readington Mayor John Albanese and Township Administrator Richard J. Sheola.
“Thank you for your continued partnership and the opportunity to invest in your community to revitalize and repurpose a vacant shopping center. We hope your recent tour of the cultivation center was informative and appreciated the opportunity to have a conference to review our action plan with our executive, construction, and operations teams.”
“For more than a year, Verano and Readington Township have been designing, discussing and approving a comprehensive site plan that includes measures to further seal the building to reduce odor emanation. Based on neighbor concerns, Verano has proposed to install additional carbon filters as part of the overall site plan at the property. We are optimistic that the engineering reviews will end shortly so that work can begin. We have the equipment on-site and will begin work as soon as local approvals are granted and permits are issued.”
“Verano estimates it will take approximately six weeks to construct, connect and install all the equipment that will significantly reduce odors near the facility after permits are issued. We are confident this action plan will significantly reduce odors in the area and address concerns raised by neighbors. We appreciate the partnership of Readington Township and the opportunity to operate a state-of-the-art cultivation center to help New Jersey realize the full benefits of cannabis legalization.”
In theory, their good faith efforts pass the smell test. Readington residents can be hopeful the resolution does as well.