N.J. town approves legal weed business represented by state Democratic chair’s lobbying firm – NJ.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Interested in the business and networking side of cannabis? NJ Cannabis Insider is hosting a cannabis business networking event on May 18 . Tickets are limited.
East Orange City Council has approved a legal weed dispensary applicant represented by a lobbying firm belonging to New Jersey’s state Democratic Chair Leroy Jones Jr. while rejecting a local applicant who had pointed out that connection, a move that drew scorn from residents at a council meeting.
Jones, an East Orange resident, is chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee and the East Orange Democratic Municipal Committee Chairman. He’s also held the post of city administrator.
Precious Osagie-Erese, co-founder of the local applicant for a dispensary, Roll-Up Life, had been critical of Nimbus Holdings being represented in the municipality’s selection process by Jones’ lobbying firm, 1868 Public Affairs.
Both the lobbying firm and Nimbus Holdings, in interviews prior to the council meeting, denied the arrangement gave way to undue influence. The governor’s office declined comment.
In the wake of winning and being approved by a large majority of the council, Nimbus Holdings did not comment at the meeting.
An outspoken dissenting voice against the move to award Nimbus and deny Roll-Up Life was councilwoman Brittany Claybrooks, who said the municipality should welcome its residents to come back and start businesses.
“I wish I could tell you that you live in that kind of community, but you do not as long as the same people stay in power,” Claybrooks said to those in attendance.
Council Chair Christopher Awe, who also serves in the same Second Ward as Claybrooks, previously asserted in another interview that there was no influence from Jones and defended the municipality’s decision.
“There’s been no aspect of this process that has not been transparent,” he said.
Osagie-Erese said that even though her team had the top scoring application, the municipality still went in the opposite direction.
“This is terrible and it’s going to be etched into my heart because those who know me, know how much I love the city,” she said at the meeting. “I will remember that the city doesn’t always love you back.”
Roll-Up Life’s other co-founder, Tiyahnn Bryant, said at the meeting that the decision was painful.
“Honestly, I’ve never been this publicly hurt before — I’m shaking,” he said.
Belinda Jackson, an East Orange resident who had come out to support Roll-Up Life, said the action made should be a clarion call for upcoming city council elections.
“I am disappointed, but not surprised,” she said.
Outside of the city hall lobby was a screen with a powerpoint presentation. The presentation showcased local community members and encouraged solidarity within East Orange. Roll-Up Life was shown in the presentation.
After that meeting, Osagie-Erese released a public statement and came to an agonizing conclusion about a city that could showcase her business in their lobby and reject her business inside the council chamber after she pointed out a potential conflict of interest.
“Once again, politics prevailed over merit. Politics prevailed over hope. Politics prevailed over ethics,” she said.
Jelani Gibson is content lead for NJ Cannabis Insider. He may be reached at jgibson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jelanigibson1 and on LinkedIn.
If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.
Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 4/4/2023), Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your Privacy Choices and Rights (each updated 1/26/2023).

© 2023 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.
YouTube’s privacy policy is available here and YouTube’s terms of service is available here.
Ad ChoicesAd Choices


Share this article:
Previous Post: Why IT leaders are putting more business spin on security spend – CIO

April 15, 2023 - In Finance

Next Post: Spectrum Reach 2023 Free Business Advertising Program | Charter – Charter Communications

April 15, 2023 - In Finance

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.