McGrath, Roman Do Not Support Pilgrim Plaza Cannabis Dispensary


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Many Verona residents received a letter yesterday asserting that Mayor Alex Roman and Deputy Mayor Christine McGrath support a cannabis dispensary at Pilgrim Plaza, an assertion that is false. The letter was written on stationary with the Strumolo campaign logo on top and the words “Paid for by Strumolo for Verona Council” on the bottom. It was mailed in an envelope with a pre-printed Strumolo logo.

Neither Mayor Roman nor Deputy Mayor McGrath support a cannabis dispensary at Pilgrim Plaza and both denounced the attempt to mis-represent their positions on cannabis.

“Given that the candidate who sent this mailer has attended only half of one council meeting,” said McGrath, “it should come as no surprise that there are numerous inaccuracies in this mailer. Most importantly, there is no active project for establishing a cannabis dispensary anywhere in Verona, nor has any revenue from a cannabis dispensary been included in municipal budgets. I have been sharing detailed meeting recaps when this issue was discussed, in real time as they happened, on my Council website at

“Unfortunately this candidate’s knowledge of the issues, including this one, is thin at best, McGrath added. “Criticism and debate are healthy, but they must be informed by the facts. Verona voters are smart and know this. As always, my door is open to anyone who has questions about anything going on in township government. I look forward to the election on Tuesday.”

Roman was similarly blunt about the distortion. “I have consistently opposed the establishment of a dispensary, on the record,” Roman wrote to MyVeronaNJ. “The Township Council has had extensive debate over recreational cannabis including expert testimony. I have stated my position consistently and repeatedly. While I recognize that the population of New Jersey and a majority of those in Verona are in favor of permitting recreational cannabis in the state, that is a different question than whether we allow a retail establishment in our community. I believe that such an establishment is against the spirit of our Zoning Ordinance which prohibits other types of businesses not conducive to the community we wish to create. I am unconvinced that any tax revenue received would offset the negative effects of such an establishment.”

Roman said that anyone who wanted to verify his position could go to the recent Verona Candidates’ Forum. “At 20 minutes and 33 seconds into the forum, I express my position again,” he wrote. The link is .

“I am very disappointed in Mr. Strumolo for his dishonesty as a candidate for public office, particularly with such little time left to correct the record,” Roman added. reached out to Strumolo yesterday evening to confirm that his campaign had sent out the mailer. Angela Anemoyanis, the CEO of Verona-based Muse Marketing, responded that “I can certainly look into the letter that you are referring to.” To date, there has been no further response.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. “As always, my door is open to anyone who has questions about anything going on in township government.”

    Christine McGrath, you have never responded to one single email of mine since May 2020 on the marijuana debate. Your behavior was appalling to those who fought against it. I also asked you to stop your supporters, who were your close friends, from engaging in online behavior which was egregious . Only Kevin Ryan reached out to me to address my concerns and he had nothing to do with it. In your previous Facebook format, you never responded to critics like me, only to your sycophants. I have asked you questions at previous town councils, to which you didn’t answer; or, played the victim.. I started a Facebook group to fight back in response to how you treat the perceived undesirable residents like myself.

    If Mr.Strumolo shouldn’t lie, nor should you! If Mr.Strumolo should answer questions, so should you!

  2. I heartily endorse both Mayor Roman and Councilperson McGrath for re-election. They are capable leaders who have an in-depth understanding of the issues and the dedication to pursue intelligent solutions. Best of luck to them as we head into the home stretch of the election.

    Dr. John Gasiewski

  3. This campaign has been unseemly for local elections. Thank you for straightening it out. Campaigning by accusation against competitive candidates should not be successful in a small town.


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