Vernon Council rejects another cannabis license

VERNON. Of the three would-be cannabis retailer that have come before the council, just one had their license approved.

Vernon /
| 26 Aug 2022 | 01:40

The Vernon Township Council on August 22 declined to support a cannabis retail license application by Indoveda LLC.

Council President Patrick Rizzuto, Council Vice President Natalie Buccieri and Councilman Brian Lynch voted against the resolution while Councilmen Harry Shortway and Mike Furrey voted for it.

Three different entities have approached the council over the last several months seeking support to go forward with a retail license from the state. The only one to achieve support was Castle of Greens on March 28.

That resolution passed 3-2 with Buccieri and Rizzuto voting against it.

“I think this is a great opportunity to show that Vernon is business friendly,” Furrey said. “I know Mr. Lynch, Mr. Rizzuto and Mrs. Buccieri, you personally oppose cannabis, but I think the greater picture is because 70 percent of the people wanted us to legalize. There is a loud minority against this, but the vast majority that are silent made their voices heard at the ballot box, and that’s where it counts.”

Buccieri said cannabis retail was a “point of conscience” for her.

“My beliefs and values are not going to change based on a dollar amount or income,” Buccieri said. “Personally, or as a representative, I was very vocal with my feeling on that.”

The council also declined an ordinance that would have allowed the owners of Healthy Thyme to apply for a cannabis retail license; their location was too close to the future bicycle pump track to satisfy requirements in the township’s cannabis ordinance.

Shortway said he was disappointed the council said “no” to the ordinance and said the only reason he didn’t support Healthy Thymes’ application was because of the distance from the pump track.

Township resident Bill DiResta also was disappointed with the council’s decision.

“You know we need the money, and again, you voted against cannabis,” he said. “Seventy percent of the population voted for cannabis in Vernon. You guys won your seats with 20 percent of the vote.”