NJ: Lodi Preparing For Possibility Of Legal Marijuana By Considering New Ordinances

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
In anticipation of Governor-elect Phil Murphy's making good on his campaign promise to legalize marijuana, the Borough Council is taking a closer look at its smoke shop ordinances and considering new regulations.

"Before this happens, we need to have something in place," Borough Manager Vincent Caruso said at a recent council meeting.

Lodi currently has three smoke shops.

Borough Attorney Alan Spiniello said at Tuesday's meeting that he will look into the borough's existing ordinances. Further action, he said, could include limiting the number of smoke shops in town.

Spiniello said it would ultimately be the state's decision on the larger issues, such as who can dispense marijuana, when and how much.

It's unclear what role, if any, smoke shops would play in the sale of marijuana. But Caruso said borough officials need to be "proactive" in the event the drug is legalized.

"We're still not sure if smoke shops will be places to promote equipment like bongs or be used for more," said Caruso.

Murphy promised during his campaign that he would legalize marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. He named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of staff, and a new marijuana retailers association has formed.

Referring to marijuana legalization, Deputy Mayor Laura Cima said, "In my humble opinion, this is a terrible idea. The social issues this is going to bring is going to cost us all tremendously."

But Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union County, has sponsored legislation that he says would bring in millions of dollars in marijuana sales tax revenue.

Scutari's bill calls for a 7 percent sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products. The tax would increase to 25 percent after five years.

Scutari has said the tax would result in $300 million to $500 million a year in new revenue after it is fully phased in.

Caruso took issue with that, however,

"They're only looking to put a 7 percent tax on it, when it should be 70," he said.

Supporters have also said New Jersey could see $2 billion to $3 billion in annual marijuana sales if the drug is legalized.


News Moderator: Ron Strider 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Lodi preparing for possibility of legal marijuana
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