In addition to deciding to consider opting out of the state’s marijuana legislation until municipalities receive further guidance regarding licensing and zoning, members of the Livingston Township Council recently shared their individual viewpoints on the topic for the first time after months of gathering input from the community.
Despite favoring the decision to consider opting out for the time being, no council members spoke against eventually permitting the licenses that are available, which include retail, manufacturing, cultivation, wholesale, distribution and delivery services.
Mayor Shawn Klein, who emphasized that the township would not be opting out “as a delay tactic,” spoke in depth about all sides of the conversation based on the varying opinions of Livingston residents.
“I do not think [marijuana retail] will change the town in a negative way; but I think that we need to go slow, we need to see how things evolve, and we need to be respectful of the apprehension that a lot of people in this town have,” said Klein, adding that there are large groups within the community that are wary of welcoming cannabis retailers. “People need time to get used to marijuana being legal in New Jersey [and] to learn that it's not evil. They also need to see how marijuana functions in other towns so that they can understand that the character in the town is not affected.”