NJ Weedman opens Trenton restaurant

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Ed Forchion, aka "New Jersey Weedman." (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )

Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion on Monday officially opened his first restaurant, which sits across the street from Trenton's city hall.
 
The name: NJ Weedman's Joint. 
 
Forchion, the well-traveled marijuana activist, said he sells sandwiches, salads, and soups. And he offers a full $4.20 menu, 24/7. But only natural dishes are and will be served, which means no pork, and no beef. 
 
But there are vegan pastries and chocolate pound cake. 
 
And Doritos.
 
"I'm a stoner," Forchion said, "and I'm going to attract stoners, so they can come in to my healthy-food restaurant but they won't find Oreo cookies. But if they want Doritos, I have those.
 
"You mix it up," he added, "but you still need munchy food, you know?"
 
The idea for the cafe, Forchion said, came out of his 2015 New Year's resolution: healthier eating habits. 
 
After a rough few years, which included passing in and out of prison because of his marijuana habit and surviving cancer, he decided he needed some changes.
 
"I just wanted to do something different," Forchion said.
 
He stumbled upon two buildings, and decided he could fund his activism with the restaurant while simultaneously endorsing a healthier lifestyle. 
 
Forchion said he hasn't had any issues from law enforcement or elected officials, but he hopes "it's not a lull before the storm."
 
"Trenton has its problems, you know," he said, "but I think I'm bringing something positive to the community."
 
He said a few hundred people came through his doors Monday, but he stressed that customers are not allowed to smoke pot inside or out.
 
"It's just a restaurant," he said, "but I did obtain the building next door and I have different plans for that."
 
He plans to open a spiritual center next door, which he's calling Liberty Bell Temple III. He says the center will function as a church of medical marijuana users that gather to "relax."
 
What he calls the "Cannabis Church" grew out of Liberty Bell Temple II, which he opened in Los Angeles and that also served as a marijuana dispensary. He named his centers after the Liberty Bell because of his experiences with the Philly Smoke Out protests in the early 2000s at Independence Mall.
 
With a strong connection to Philly, NJ Weedman said he would consider expanding his enterprise to Philly.
 
"I don't think it would be hard at all," he said.