Western New Jersey

Greenhouse stirs debate in the Garden State

Greenhouse stirs debate in the Garden State

WHITE TWP., N.J. - Should the Garden State give the okay to recreational-use marijuana?

A greenhouse in Warren County is at the center of that debate.

People living around the Edible Garden plant say it was fine when the company started growing organic vegetables.

They're worried about what growing marijuana there will do to their community.

The petition clearly states the position of some Brookfield Glen residents in White Township, Warren County.

They oppose the legalization and production of marijuana in the Garden State.

"This is a horror," said Rita Foti, organizer of the petition. "Somebody wants to turn the growth of marijuana into a healthy cash crop."

Fred and Rita Foti caught wind of the possible plan after seeing news reports that owners of Edible Garden Greenhouse on Route 519 want to start a marijuana farm if recreational use of the drug is legalized in Trenton.

"Unfortunately those who are in favor are a very very vocal group and we have to be the same," added Rita Foti.

The Foti's and neighbors started circulating petitions in the communities right by the greenhouse.

The goal is to present the signatures to leaders of the township, but some say the mayor has already publicly embraced the idea.

"Sam Race was on the school board of White Township for 35 years, I cannot believe he would be in favor of something like this," said White Township resident, Bud Allen.

White Township mayor, Sam Race, says his comments came after being asked about the possibility during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the plant.

Race says his comments come from a business standpoint..

"If a product is legal to grow then it's up to the person who wants to grow it, whether he should or not," added Race.

As a leader in the community, Race says he will have to weigh all the options.

"We certainly want to hear what they have to say and again my comments made at the event earlier were from the viewpoint of a single person, myself," said Race. "And I was not speaking for the community."

We made several attempts to get a comment from the owner of Edible Garden.

None of our emails or calls were returned.

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