Orange business owner starts petition to block city ordinance banning cannabis businesses

Another New Jersey town is trying to ban the booming legal recreational marijuana business.
The city of Orange has introduced a measure to keep cannabis shops out of the town. But a local business owner is rallying support from the community to block the legislation.
Brwnbox co-owner Ty Griffith started a petition in the hopes of getting Ordinance 14-2021 canceled.
“If Orange passes this ordinance, that’s sunk money,” he says.
The ordinance stops dispensaries from setting up shops in the city. Griffith says that he feels that the ordinance was sponsored out of fear.
“Any time there’s a new market, there are early adopters. They do the groundwork, they get in. And there are then people who are a little bit less educated and they fear anything new,” he says.
Brwnbox has been part of the community for two years. It is a hemp-based cannabis company that specializes in wellness. Griffith says that an ordinance like the one proposed keeps the barriers of entry high, especially in an industry pushing equity. He says that his fellow potential business owners would not be able to do business in Orange if it is passed.
“Our friends who are also entrepreneurs in the cannabis space who have applied for recreational licenses and who are already invested a fair amount of money are not safe,” Griffith says.
Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren said in a statement, "Issues related to business development, jobs, zoning, municipal revenue, restorative justice and property values have to be explored for policy implementation. At the same time, local government must help protect the vulnerable populations in our community."
Griffith’s petition has gotten support from the community. They are already halfway to their goal of 500 signatures.
The ordinance will go up for a second reading at the April 20 city council meeting.