Is cannabis coming to town?

Monroe Township Council researching pros, cons of legalized marijuana

One of the cornerstones of Gov. Murphy’s campaign was legalizing marijuana. Monroe Township Council is trying to keep pace with the governor.

At the latest council meeting, Councilwoman Katherine Falcone addressed the council regarding cannabis.

“What I was asking for was a letter of general support for the cannabis companies that are interested in coming to our town,” she explained. “We’re getting a lot of inquiries as far was whether our town is supportive of the cannabis industry.”

The cannabis companies are either sending out blanket letters seeing which municipalities are interested in bringing cannabis to their town or seeking out specific towns and locations to start their business.

The companies that could come to Monroe Township are grow facilities, not dispensaries, and are only to be used for medicinal purposes.

According to Falcone, the tax revenue for the municipality is anticipated to be anywhere from 10 to 25 percent.

“It’s part of the ratables we’re looking to get,” she said. “If we don’t do it in Monroe Township, Washington Township is going to do it, somebody else is going to do it. If people can’t get cannabis in our town, they’ll go somewhere else. Why not get the ratables at this point?”

Mayor Rich DiLucia feels there is more research to be done before sending out a letter to the cannabis companies.

“I think there ought to be a broader discussion about this than whether we support it generally,” he said. “I like the idea that somebody’s coming here, going to have ratables. I read some of them, the labor they’re going to hire, is not what I would consider high-end jobs. I think we have to be selective in who we support, what we support and what we do.”

A cannabis committee was formed to do more research on the matter, comprised of Falcone, Cody Miller and Greg Wolfe. The trio will meet with the police department and research other towns that have agreements in place with cannabis companies. They will report their findings to the council at a future meeting.

In other news:

  • Council passed a resolution to enter a memorandum of understanding between the township and City of Angels NJ, Inc. for the use of space in the municipal building. Miller spoke on the MOU.

“I would like to thank the administration and council for the MOU between the City of Angels. For those of you who don’t know, they’ve been utilizing space in the municipal building to provide recovery and support services for families and individuals who are struggling with substance abuse. Some of the types of programs that will be available to the residents: NARCAN training, recovery coaching, community resource linkage, computer lab and leadership and mentorship programs.”

  • Council introduced six ordinances on first reading that will be up for adoption at the Feb. 25 meeting. One ordinance will change the number of people on the Parks and Recreation commission from 15 to 19; one ordinance will change the curfew on Halloween from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m., and one ordinance will implement a five-year tax abatement pursuant and will approve a property tax agreement between the township and the BPC at Whitehall Garden, LLC for 110 Whitehall Road.
  • The next council meeting will be on Feb. 25. The work session starts at 7 p.m. and the regular meeting starts at 8 p.m. Both sessions are open to the public.