NJ Towns Opting Out of Legal Marijuana
Notwithstanding Governor Murphy’s pledge to legalize marijuana within his first one-hundred days in office, many local governments have taken action of their own which would generally keep the (soon to be) state-legal marijuana out of their municipalities. Specifically, many municipalities are considering - or have already passed - legislation that would generally prohibit recreational marijuana retailers and other businesses involved in the retail or growing process from opening up shop within their borders. For example, earlier this week, Middletown, New Jersey (Ironically, Governor Murphy has been a resident of Middletown for almost two decades) rolled out a proposed ordinance that would ban businesses that are associated with recreational marijuana; Point Pleasant has already ratified a similar ordinance. One need not think very hard for reasons why a municipality would want to block the sale of marijuana within its borders. However, such ordinances do come with at least one obvious downside, which is that any municipality who does not permit legal marijuana sales may not be entitled to a share to the State’s tax revenue from such sales, which is anticipated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course, every citizen is free to make up their own mind about whether they are for or against the sale of legal marijuana where they live. Nevertheless, citizens should take care to educate themselves about all the relevant issues about the impact of legalizing marijuana in this State before making such a decision and advocating either for or against such a prohibition law to their local officials. (i.e. nobody knows exactly what the State’s legalization law will be yet).
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden is carefully monitoring developments in New Jersey and federally with respect to marijuana legislation and will be available to help its clients navigate the sure-to-be complex regulatory framework of this potential business frontier.
Please contact Zachary Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201.270.5474 for further information.