About 65 percent of residents in Point Pleasant Beach supported a November ballot question authorizing legalization in New Jersey. Yet Point Pleasant Beach, a Jersey Shore town known for its wide beaches and lively boardwalk, has decided against permitting cannabis businesses from operating — with the exception of delivery companies, which by law must be allowed.
“They didn’t vote to have it in their backyard,” the borough’s mayor, Paul M. Kanitra, a Republican, said about the referendum.
At the same time, many large cities and rural towns throughout the region have rolled out a pot-embossed welcome mat, hoping to capitalize on legalization’s early momentum and cash.
Officials in Buffalo, N.Y., and Atlantic City, N.J., have signaled that they are eager for cannabis-related jobs and tax revenue. The council in Jersey City, N.J., a short train ride from Manhattan, voted recently to open its borders to all six types of cannabis licenses offered by the state. It intends to allow retailers to run smoking and consumption lounges, which are often excluded even where sales are legal.
“It’s an almost entirely new industry that provides an opportunity for new skills for people to be trained in,” said Steven M. Fulop, the Democratic mayor of Jersey City. “I think it would be a waste if we did not capitalize on it.”
Many rural towns, including some in Republican strongholds, are equally supportive.