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READINGTON, New Jersey (WABC) — A marijuana cultivation plant in New Jersey is causing a stir for people who live nearby because of the odor.

The smell is coming from the old shuttered Walmart. The building is now home to a medical and adult use marijuana production site, owned by Verano holdings.

Those who drive along a short stretch of Route 22 through Reading are bound to catch a quick whiff.

But those who live in the area say in one of the well-manicured homesteads on Ridge Road -a quick whiff is out of the question.

“During the day it wafts through the air and it’s actually so intense it gives me a headache,” said High Bridge resident Derek Knosbe.

The smell has neighbors holding their noses and concerned about their health.

“I came out to feed the cat, my legs started shaking, I went down on the ground, my head was hurting, your eyes go first, I went down on the ground and finally I could get up,” said Readington Township resident Lyle Armstrong.

Many neighbors have signed a petition to complain and an American Legion post right across the street is furious.
“And now we get this odor, and people don’t want to come and some people would rather stay outside, but the fact is they don’t want to smell the odor,” said American Legion member Daniel Dort.

Mayor John Albanese says the planning board is in constant talks with the company and that changes are about to happen.

Albanese says the huge filtration units that use charcoal were recently delivered to be installed. He said the size of the parking lot will be reduced and more trees and plantings will be added.

The mayor says the town wants the filters and fixes done sooner rather than later.

ALSO READ | Marijuana dispensaries spark controversy in Paterson

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