After hearing mixed but productive feedback from community members during a public forum held earlier this month to educate the public about cannabis legislation recently passed statewide and garner input about local regulation, the Township of Livingston is inviting further participation in the ongoing discussion when it resumes on May 11 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
During the April 13 forum, Township Attorney Jarrid Kantor explained the basics of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance Marketplace and Modernization Act—which legalizes the personal use of cannabis for certain adults, decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana possession and removes cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug—and reviewed the specific options available that the Livingston Township Council must consider. He reiterated that the council has until Aug. 21 to determine whether it will permit, regulate or ban the cultivation, manufacture, wholesale, distribution, retail sale and delivery of marijuana products within the Livingston community.
If no action is taken in the allotted time, all aforementioned uses would be permitted in Livingston without regulation, although the number of licenses would be governed by the state. Kantor also explained that the township has the option to join neighboring communities such as Millburn, Chatham and Hanover and others in “opting out,” which would mean that all licenses would be banned in Livingston until the township has conducted sufficient research and garnered enough feedback to adopt a local marijuana ordinance that is in the best interest of the community.
Panelists for the first event—including Kantor, Mayor Shawn Klein, Deputy Mayor Ed Meinhardt, Councilmen Al Anthony, Michael Vieira and Rudy Fernandez, Township Manager Barry Lewis and attorney Kourtney Cooke from Antonelli Kantor, P.C.—all felt the forum was productive and reiterated that no action has been taken or will be taken without sufficient public notice and consideration.