MARLBORO – The members of the Marlboro parish council passed an ordinance banning all classes of cannabis companies from being licensed in the parish.
The regulation was adopted by the Council on July 15th after a public hearing.
A motion was tabled to pass the ordinance and Council President Jeff Cantor, Vice President Scott Metzger, Councilor Randi Marder and Councilor Carol Mazzola voted “yes”.
Councilor Michael Scalea was absent at the meeting.
The only member of the public who spoke about the regulation was Dr. Alan Ao, a pharmacist and president of Plants and Prescriptions, a group focused on researching the benefits of medical marijuana and educating the public about its possible uses.
“I am disappointed that there was no public forum to discuss the matter. Contrary to much of what this council and community encounters, cannabis is still an extremely polarizing topic on several fronts.
“It needs to be approached with facts, data, science, education and awareness of what a legalized cannabis industry could look like in this community. Cannabis use and uneducated populations stuck in the era of the cooling frenzy of the 1950s are still heavily stigmatized.
“I understand that the schedule set by state law has made this a difficult decision, but without seeing the full rules and regulations of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, I understand that the decision may have been made as a wait and see Approach until more guides are available, ”said Ao.
According to Ao’s remarks, Mayor Jonathan Hornik, who is not voting to pass regulations, said, “My personal opinion about marijuana is that it is legal for recreational and medicinal use in this state and that’s fine.
“Marlboro residents can obey the law and our police will not do anything to undermine the law. The decision to have cannabis companies in your city is a local business decision and I believe the potential costs outweigh the benefits of having these companies in the city.
“While I agree with anyone who wants to use cannabis, I believe that the cost of these facilities in the city outweighs the benefits for the city, if they know the percentage (tax) that the city is entitled to sell,” said the mayor.
Commenting on the subject, Marder said, “I’ve worked with the municipal alliance for 14 years and my lack of support for setting up marijuana companies in the city is partly due to the inability to distinguish disabled drivers.
“Anyone who gets high and gets into a car has very limited options for assessing their state of mind. Having this type of business in the city is a potential risk to our residents, ”she said.
Ao replied to Marder, saying, “Cannabis is in our communities right now and it would be ignorant of us to think differently. Residents will consume cannabis and potentially drive unsafe whether or not this council endorses these businesses. Drivers with alcohol impairments are still a constant issue at the moment. “
The Marlboros Ordinance Elected Officials states that Councilors “have determined that it is necessary and appropriate, and in the best interests of the health, safety and well-being of Marlboro residents and the public who visit, travel, or do business in Marlboro, all classes to ban cannabis operations, dealers or supply licenses and services anywhere in Marlboro. “
The Marlboro action follows the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, also known as A-21, which was approved by state lawmakers in February after New Jersey residents asked for a constitutional amendment in 2020 Had voted to legalize marijuana.
State legislation legalizes the use of recreational marijuana (also known as adult marijuana) for certain adults, subject to government regulation; it decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish (a concentrate of marijuana); and it removes marijuana as a List I drug (high potential for abuse).
By August 21, community officials in each New Jersey community must decide whether or not any or all of the state’s licensed cannabis companies can operate within their borders. If they don’t act, auto zoning will allow cannabis businesses to operate.
Local officials have the option to issue six types of cannabis-related licenses:
• Cannabis cultivation license for establishments that grow and cultivate cannabis;
• Cannabis manufacturer license for facilities involved in the manufacture, preparation and packaging of cannabis items;
• Cannabis wholesaler license for entities that purchase and sell cannabis items for later resale by other licensees;
• Cannabis distribution license for companies that transport cannabis plants in bulk from one licensed breeder to another licensed breeder or bulk cannabis items from any type of licensed cannabis business to another;
• Cannabis dealer license for locations where cannabis items and related supplies are sold to consumers;
• Cannabis supply license for companies that provide courier services for consumer purchases carried out by a licensed cannabis dealer to deliver the purchased items to a consumer; this service would include the ability for a consumer to make a purchase directly from the cannabis delivery service, which would be presented by the delivery service for fulfillment by a retailer and then delivered to a consumer.
Marlboro Councilors have voted not to issue a cannabis license. You may not legally prohibit the delivery of cannabis and / or cannabis shipments to Marlboro addresses by a delivery service licensed in another municipality.
District Attorney Lou Rainone made it clear that the Council’s cannabis business regulation does not affect the potential for a medical cannabis license that could be issued in the community.
Cantor said he plans to work with Ao to help minorities and military veterans by growing or selling cannabis, be it in or outside of Marlboro.
“I know medical marijuana has benefits. I’ve seen studies that have shown its effects on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and the positive effects it had by reducing the use of other narcotics and reducing alcohol consumption. There are benefits to using the products medicinally, ”said Cantor.