A New Day is Dawning for Marijuana in New Jersey


Hello. It’s Friday. We’ll see how things went on the first day of legal marijuana sales in New Jersey. And, because it’s Earth Day, we’ll meet the person picking trees to plant in city parks.

That’s why Daniel Garcia was lining up outside a store at 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

“I’m very picky when it comes to my weed,” he said, “and sometimes I ask my guy, ‘Which one is good?’ and it’s not always accurate.I like coming to clinics because I know for sure that what they tell me is accurate.

Garcia, who is 23 and once bought her marijuana from a dealer, was the first person in line at Rise Paterson, a gleaming marijuana dispensary in New Jersey. When it finally opened two and a half hours later — the first day of legal recreational cannabis sales in the state — it made one of the first legal marijuana purchases in the New York area. Her pick, for $60, was a half ounce of a potent strain called Banana Cream.

New Jersey is one of at least 18 states that have legalized recreational marijuana. New York is also among them and is expected to begin sales later in the year. Proponents say bringing marijuana purchases out of the shadows will create new jobs and generate tax revenue — $30 million in fiscal year 2022 and $121 million in 2023, according to earlier estimates by Governor Philip Murphy of New Jersey, who went to a clinic in Elizabeth on Thursday.

Marijuana sold in New Jersey is subject to a requirement that does not apply to blueberries, cranberries, fresh cut herbs, peaches, spinach or asparagus – which New Jersey grows in abundance. They can be sold anywhere, but marijuana sold in New Jersey must be grown in New Jersey. And New Jersey buyers can’t legally transport it out of state.

Greg DeLucia, a media executive, patiently waited for a dispensary to open in Bloomfield, NJ. He said he used to buy his marijuana in more sketchy environments.

“My dealer,” he said, “was a four-toothed guy named Bubbles.”

The dispensary was a long way from Bubbles the drug dealer. Greeters handed out pastries from a food truck in the parking lot. A steel drummer played pop hits, and Ben Kovler — the founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, which operates the store, Rise Bloomfield, and several others in New Jersey — looked approvingly sweet. .

“The whole country has too much anxiety,” he said. “So the demand and appeal for this product is universal because wellness is something we all want.”


Weather

Enjoy a sunny day near the 60s, with gusty winds and temperatures reaching the 40s at night.

alternative parking

Suspended today (Easter and Good Friday, Orthodox) and tomorrow (Easter).


Maples for the Bronx? Lilacs for Brooklyn? Maureen Clancy decides which trees go where.

She has a long job title – supply forester for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. She is responsible for choosing thousands of trees that are planted on sidewalks and in parks.

She will be tasked with picking many more trees if Mayor Eric Adams commits to planting another million trees by 2030. The five borough presidents urged him to take the first step in February, calling to the revival of the MillionTreesNYC program that began in 2007 when Michael Bloomberg was mayor.

To find trees for the city, Clancy goes on a reconnaissance mission to Maryland – “nurseries are my second home,” she said. Back in town, she calculates the space needed for each type of tree, coordinates with utility companies and city agencies to make sure there’s room above and below the tree. floor. But that’s not all.

“I think about how much shade a particular tree can provide 40 years from now,” she said. “So it takes a lot of thought and planning to choose the right tree for a particular street and neighborhood.”



Credit…Jason LeCras via Colgate-Palmolive Company

In a conversation with runner Cheryl Toussaint, something was not mentioned – the 50th anniversary of the day she won a silver medal in the 1000 meter relay at the Olympics. She was talking about the future — the 260 finalists who will compete in the Colgate Women’s Games on Sunday at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island — and it was hard not to wonder if Toussaint saw something in it for herself.

She went from competitor in the 1970s to assistant meet director in 1999 to meet director in 2014, and now she chairs an outdoor event. Colgate’s games, which started indoors in the 1970s, were moved outdoors this year after skipping last year due to the pandemic, and Toussaint had been impressed with what she had seen in recent semi-finals.

“The level of competition has been incredible for this start to the season,” she said. “We are kind of in awe of how much they have been able to do in such a short time. The indoor season did not end until March. Coming out of the semifinals, only five points separate the high school division’s 400-meter leaders — Anissa Moore of Brooklyn and Avery Lewis of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

A total of approximately 2,000 athletes participated in this year’s Colgate Women’s Games, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. For students, there are scholarships of up to $1,000 in each event.

The Colgate games were the brainchild of Fred Thompson, a former track star at City College of New York, whom Toussaint had first met at a Brooklyn track club he had founded in the 1960s. 1960. She quit at the age of 13, wearing a dress and sandals, and was so intrigued that she changed into running gear, took part in a 100 meter race and finished fourth.

“I walked up to Coach Thompson, he kind of looked me up and down and he said, ‘Sure, come on, we’re training on Monday,'” she recalled. “And then my life changed. My life changed because I was now part of an organized sporting activity that had goals beyond what I had for myself.

“This whole program, it never gets old,” she said. “It never gets old because every day we have, the event is a day when someone walks through the door and realizes something about themselves.”



Dear Diary:

It was my birthday, and a significant event at that.

With celebratory calls filling my head and heart with the happiness of best wishes, I forgot to sign up for my life drawing workshop the next day. Attendance was limited to the first 13 people who responded to a 5 p.m. email, and the class was full by the time I remembered to respond.

Later in the evening, I called a neighbor who is also a regular at the workshop to tell her that I would not be joining her the next day.

She had also missed the email after mistakenly setting her snooze alarm at 5:30 p.m. I told him my excuse: that I had been distracted because it was my birthday. She suggested we go out to dinner to celebrate.

We went to an Italian restaurant in our Upper West Side neighborhood. My neighbor mentioned to our server that it was my birthday.

He asked if we wanted dessert. We refused and asked for the check.

He comes back with a surprise: a chocolate mousse with a lit candle. He apologized for not singing “Happy Birthday”, saying he had a “not so great” singing voice.

That was fine with me, because I hated the attention anyway.

A woman at the next table, hearing the waiter, suggested that her companion, an opera singer, could do the honors.

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