The legalization advocacy group Sativa Cross held their annual Statehouse protest and podcast with the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of NJ (CMMNJ) leaders Ken Wolski and Jim Miller, also tabling and speaking on the podcast. The festivities started at 11:11 AM and were scheduled to go past the time 4:20 pm.
Among others, Chris Goldstein of NORML stopped by for a guest appearance. CMMNJ advocate Gaetano Lardieri and veteran advocate and consultant Leo Bridgewater called in. Ken Wolski and Jim Miller represented CMMNJ along with Mike Brennan.
4/20 was a delightful post-COVID gathering of many advocates, long-time supporters, industry professionals, and lobbyists such as NJ CannaBusiness Association (NJCBA) President Ed DeVeaux, and former President Scott Rudder, and Treasurer Felice Twaddle stopped buy.
While many were happy about the progress being made on adult-use sales, others are angry about the lack of homegrow, worried about patient care, and the opening of a larger market with micro businesses and Social Equity.
“There’s no politicians here. Thank God,” Cannabis advocate and columnist Jay Lassiter said.
“We want politicians to come,” Edward “Lefty” Grimes of Sativa Cross said.
“They’ve never been with us,” Lassiter replied.
Grimes also lamented the absence of NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission officials.
“It really is a celebration. This is the culmination of the government and community and advocacy sector to achieve some measure of success and doing away with the stigma,” DeVeaux said.
Among those attending and exhibiting were the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of NJ (CMMNJ) and Chris Velasquez, and Chris Almada of Sativa Cross and the Dover Cannabis Company.
Almada lamented “weed redlining” in New Jersey that makes it hard for cannabis companies to open.
In addition, Union Organizer Hugh Giordano of the UFCW labor union local 360 enjoyed the crowd with fellow UFCW officials and UFCW 360 President Sam Ferraino.
An advocate named Shell with Freedomgrow.org gathered signatures for a petition urging President Joe Biden to release cannabis prisoners. She was especially concerned about the upcoming trial of Jonathan Wall in Baltimore federal court on May 2nd who was charged with conspiracy to deliver cannabis.
Early into the festivities, Sativa Cross even gave out free nuggets of weed.
Jenny’s Joints sold out of food by 1:30.
In addition, the notorious Daniel Kessel of Bud Hub had a tent where they were gifting dabs with no strings. Others also gifted freely on the day of celebration.
Unfortunately, the ongoing construction on the Statehouse went on undeterred and made the sunny gathering noisy.
Unofficial Dispensary Markets on the 4/20 Cannabis Holiday
In addition to the Statehouse rally, many unofficial adult-use cannabis markets were held across the State.
One of the features of New Jersey’s de facto cannabis market is events where cannabis products are sold by different companies at tables like a flea market. It is often done in a party atmosphere where people are consuming as well.
They often have products from California labeled as such with their own 21 plus warnings. Many of their products are very strong. The unofficial adult=-use cannabis market also has a far greater range of products than New Jersey’s limited medical cannabis market, with few edibles and no beverages.
Some unofficial cannabis dispensary vendors have argued they provide patients with the affordable medicine they need.
Given the restrictions in New Jersey’s interim regulations, the open market is the feature least likely to translate to a legal market. The restrictions imposed demand a lot of security features.
Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion was not in town after throwing a block party on Saturday. He was in Miami at his club there on the 4/20 cannabis holiday but would return soon after.
“It was fucking super great,” he said about it.
He noted that 2,000 people attended.
“We had hundreds of people in the backyard,” NJWeedman noted regarding his unofficial dispensary and lounge.
He said the street was blocked off after 5 pm.
“The street was packed. It was actually a really good event,” Forchion said.
It was notable that a man who served time for possession and distribution of cannabis had police perform crowd control at his event.
“We paid the cops. The cops were cool. The cops were really cool,” NJWeedman said.
The cannabis block party event was notable for no incidents of aggression or violence.
“Not one single thing. Everybody talked about how it was such a peaceful event. Everyone commented on that,” NJWeedman said.
His Joint across from City Hall had a party while he was out of town at his Miami club.