NJ Recreational Marijuana Market Opens; Jay Wright retires; Pleasant spring conditions Thursday



1. New Jersey’s recreational marijuana market is open for business

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey recreational marijuana market is open for business.

Recreational cannabis sales for adults 21 and older are set to begin Thursday, with the first alternative treatment centers opening at 6 a.m. in part of the state.

“This is a huge event. This is a moment in American history where Prohibition 2.0 is lifted,” said Ben Kovler, president and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, which has two facilities opening Thursday, a in Bloomfield and another in Paterson.

The start of the recreational market comes a week after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced that state regulators cleared the way for recreational sales at seven “alternative treatment centers” that previously offered medical cannabis. The seven centers operate 13 facilities across the state.

New Jersey is one of 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, with legalized recreational marijuana markets. Thirty-seven states, including New Jersey, have legalized medical marijuana.

New Jersey is the first among its closest neighbors to begin recreational sales.

2. ‘A professional dream’: Villanova coach Jay Wright announces retirement

PHILADELPHIA CREAM –Longtime Villanova men’s basketball head coach Jay Wright announced his retirement Wednesday night, calling his time with the team “an honor and a privilege.”

“For the past 21 seasons, I’ve had the opportunity to live out a professional dream as a head coach at Villanova,” Wright said. “Patty and I have been blessed to work with incredible, gifted young men who have allowed us to coach them and brought us unparalleled joy.”

Villanova said Wright would remain involved with the university. His next position will focus on fundraising, counseling, education and more, the school said.

Wright, 60, took over as head coach of the Wildcats in 2001 and helped elevate Villanova’s basketball program to one of the best in the country. Under Wright, Villanova won two NCAA men’s basketball championships in 2016 and 2018, made four Final Four appearances and won five Big East tournaments.

Wright was named Naismith College Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2016, and Big East Coach of the Year six times.

A native of Churchville, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Council Rock High School North, Wright played college basketball at Bucknell University.

Wright got his first coaching job as an assistant at the University of Rochester, then moved on to Drexel and Villanova. He was an assistant at UNLV for two years before a seven-season tenure as Hofstra’s head coach.

Wright will end his head coaching career at Villanova with a 520-197 record.

3. Meteorological Authority: A pleasant spring day is expected on Thursday

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – The Delaware Valley can expect another pleasant spring day on Thursday with forecasts calling for mild temperatures and lots of sunshine!

Temperatures started in the low 40s on Thursday but are expected to warm to the low to mid 60s by the afternoon.

FOX 29’s Sue Serio says there’s no real threat of rain in the forecast, despite the appearance of a weakening system that will move across western Pennsylvania during the day.

Friday will also be sunny and even warmer. Highs are expected to move back into the 70s. We will see a slight drop in temperatures on Saturday as the highs drop back into the 60s.

By Sunday, conditions will be more like summer with highs in the 80s and mostly sunny skies.

4. Catalytic Converter Theft Spikes Lead to Time-consuming and Expensive Repair

Mike Schafer, owner of Schafer’s auto repair shop, says he has repaired more cars after catalytic converter theft than ever before.

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise in Philadelphia since last year, police say. The recent surge in thefts, combined with supply chain issues and labor shortages, is resulting in a long wait time at the store and a costly bill for victims of catalytic converter theft.

Authorities say there were more than 3,400 thefts in 2021 and now in 2022 there have been more than 1,300 so far.

Depending on the car you own, local auto repair shops say it can take a month or more to get the necessary car parts.

Mike Schafer, owner of Schafer’s Auto in South Philadelphia, says that in his 21 years running the auto shop, he’s never seen anything like what happened recently: 6 to 13 catalytic converter cuts per week, mostly Mitsubishis, Hondas and Toyota Priuses. .

Recently, Schafer’s Auto Shop had to bring all of its cars indoors at night to prevent theft. The store has been the victim of thefts in the past, such as Mark Murphy whose catalytic converter was stolen from his brand new Mitsubishi.

In just a five-hour window, Murphy says someone cut the converter in his 2022 Mitsubishi in February. Now, in mid-April, he is still waiting for his car to be fixed.

These crimes are not unique to the city, according to police. The Township of Lower Moreland recently released photos of a highly organized group accused of hitting several vehicles in the area.

Auto repair shop owners say people can install a cat strap on their car to prevent someone from cutting out the converter. Unfortunately, they say these parts are expensive too, starting at around $400.


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