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Recreational marijuana legalization victories at the ballot box in Arizona and New Jersey this month have set the table for adult-use legalization in a handful of nearby states in 2021 – with more than $6 billion in business opportunities possibly up for grabs within a few years.
“New York, Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico are ripe for 2021” to legalize recreational use through their legislatures, said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project.
The West Orange Township Council tabled an ordinance that would update the zoning provisions in town to allow the legal operation of medical marijuana dispensaries at its Jan. 7 meeting, wanting more information from attorney Mark Moon and more time to work with township officials on the ordinance.
The Borough Council Monday is slated to vote on banning all marijuana-based businesses in town.
The ordinance, if approved, would prohibit businesses that sell, distribute, cultivate, or grow either recreational or medicinal marijuana. Such "proposed alternative treatment centers are not compatible" with the borough's land development ordinances, the legislation states.
The Township Committee plans to introduce an ordinance to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana within the township.
The proposed bill, which could be introduced as soon as the next committee meeting on Thursday, March 14, would also prohibit the cultivation of cannabis plants in Warren.
Township Attorney Jeffrey Lehrer discussed the issue with the committee at a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, as state lawmakers push to legalize the drug.
A proposal to ban the sale of recreational marijuana drew dozens of attendees to a Township Council meeting on Tuesday, where they argued for more than an hour over the potential merits and possible pitfalls of legal cannabis shops and facilities in the township.
Murphy told The Hill in December that the “biggest driver” for him in terms of marijuana legalization was social justice.
“We have to remind folks that we're not inventing marijuana, that it exists. What we're trying to do is trying to undo the social injustices, take the business out of the hand of the bad guys, protect our kids, regulate it, tax it. It's not going away,” he said at the time.
The governor echoed Tuesday during his address that the state should attempt to change the law to help those trying to move on from past convictions.
Brick Township Mayor Ducey has not taken much of a stance on many issues of late, citing his political independence, but when asked last week on his “Facebook Live” session with residents about a public referendum on this year’s election ballot for the sale of marijuana in his town, Ducey ecstatically approved.
“I would love a public referendum, that would be an awesome idea,” Ducey told resident. “We would be able to do that next election…it’s something that we’re definitely looking at.”
Facing the “inevitable” prospect of being encircled by states that have legalized recreational marijuana, Gov. Gina Raimondo will propose this week that Rhode Island do the same.
“I will say, I do this with reluctance,” she told The Journal last week. “I have resisted this for the four years I’ve been governor. ... Now, however, things have changed, mainly because all of our neighbors are moving forward” with legalization.
Three years after marijuana extracts became legally available in New York for medicinal purposes, legal recreational use of marijuana appears to be on the fast track.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced it as one of his priorities for the legislative session this winter, and with both houses of the Legislature now controlled by fellow Democrats, New York has a chance to become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults.
Phillipsburg: The town council unanimously passed two measures Nov. 7.
The first was a resolution of support for the expanded implementation of medical marijuana in New Jersey and then an ordinance to allow for Alternative Treatment Centers in the town.
Englishtown: At a recent meeting of the Borough Council, members said they were opposed to recreational marijuana but would support the use and distribution of medical marijuana under controlled circumstances.