TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On Election Day, November 3, 2020, New Jersey became yet another state to legalize marijuana. With big corporate cannabis companies already moving to secure an edge in this new market, one small shop owner is hoping to make her voice heard and secure her piece of the pot pie. Debi Madaio is the co-owner of NJWeedman's Joint, a popular marijuana-themed eatery, located in Trenton, NJ, across the street from Trenton City Hall. Madaio has launched a Change.org petition, urging Governor Phil Murphy to grant her small business a recreational license so that she and her family will have inclusion in New Jersey's newly legalized marijuana industry. Madaio is a registered nurse, medical marijuana patient, activist and a mother to two daughters and a special needs son. Her petition, "Demand Governor Phil Murphy Grant NJWeedman's Joint a Recreational Cannabis License!" can be signed at https://www.change.org/p/phil-murphy-demand-gov-phil-murphy-grant-njweedman-s-joint-a-recreational-cannabis-license .
With Senators Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) and Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) issuing a statement calling for amendments that would give women and minority business owners greater access to capital and allocate 25 percent of recreational cannabis sales tax revenue to 'impact zones,' Madaio is hoping to be seen and heard. The current marijuana bill includes language assuring only 30 percent of new dispensary, processing and cultivation licenses go to entities controlled by women, minorities or disabled veterans. With a 70 percent windfall left to conglomerate corporate entities, basically many entrepreneurs like her will still be left behind.
NJWeedman's Joint has serviced Trenton, NJ and surrounding communities for five years now. The internationally heralded eatery offers great food, live entertainment and a safe environment to partake in the intake of cannabis. The restaurant's ambiance, created by Madaio, mirrors an actual marijuana grow room with curtains, tablecloths and chairs designed and fashioned after marijuana leaves. The business has been able to survive the pandemic due to delivery and take out servicing and their live outdoor music performances and shows are now also streamed online for a wider viewing audience.
State lawmakers are exploring legislation to help set up the parameters for the marijuana marketplace, and a new state commission, Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), has been set to start creating regulations for the new industry. "My partner and I have been early innovators here in New Jersey. We both knew this day would come and held steadfast with that vision. Yet we have been publicly vilified, terrorized and even raided for offering a compassionate refuge for pot lovers! Now that cannabis is finally being legalized, we are facing a new fight. Businesses like mine are in desperate danger of being overlooked by faulty legislation and overrun by political and corporate figures who plan to capitalize on this billion-dollar industry, leaving forerunners like us in the dust. So far, New Jersey does not have a tangible plan in place for small entrepreneurs like me and others," expresses Madaio.
"As the mom of a special needs son, I have sacrificed a lot to see this day," adds Madaio. "It's just not fair that corporate entities will be allowed to swoop in and benefit off of our blood, sweat and tears. Governor Phil Murphy is promising inclusion for the underserved. I want to make sure he fulfills his promise."
While marijuana continues to blossom as one of the nation's fastest growing industries, Madaio has emerged as a compelling female figure in the expanding battle to legalize it. As the feminine force behind outspoken and controversial marijuana activist Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion, Madaio is typically not in the public eye. While Forchion has garnered international headlines for his aggressive activism in the fight for legalization, Madaio works full time as a registered nurse, balancing her time between overseeing NJWeedman's Joint and caring for the special needs of her son. While currently working long hours, she has always envisioned the eatery as an outlet which could provide work and income closer to home and nearer her youngest child.
Sign the "Demand Governor Phil Murphy Grant NJWeedman's Joint a Recreational Cannabis License!" at https://www.change.org/p/phil-murphy-demand-gov-phil-murphy-grant-njweedman-s-joint-a-recreational-cannabis-license.
SOURCE NJWeedman's Joint