PATERSON — Metropolis officers are weighing a preliminary plan that may allow the opening of six retail shops for legalized marijuana gross sales in Paterson and generate as a lot as $1.5 million per yr in hashish license charges.
In addition to the retail institutions, the plan would permit as many as 30 different cannabis-related companies in Paterson, operations that may develop, manufacture, distribute and ship legalized marijuana. Town would have the ability to impose 2% gross sales taxes on most of these operations, officers stated.
A couple of dozen metropolis officers held a personal assembly Tuesday to speak in regards to the plan. The Metropolis Council is scheduled to carry a public dialogue on the difficulty at its assembly subsequent week. Mayor Andre Sayegh, a self-described “teetotaler,” stated he helps permitting the legalized marijuana companies in Paterson. Sayegh stated he believed the hashish companies would generate income for the town and create jobs.
“I could have a Puritanical strategy in my private life, however that doesn’t have an effect on my outlook on this challenge,” Sayegh stated.
Sayegh stated 76% of Paterson voters supported the legalization of marijuana in a current statewide referendum that preceded the change in New Jersey legislation concerning hashish.
“There’s a groundswell of help for this in our metropolis,” he stated.
The mayor famous that the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary at a Route 20 commercial strip has not brought on any issues.
As Paterson strikes towards permitting legalized marijuana gross sales, many neighboring cities have already got adopted ordinances that would prohibit cannabis businesses. That state of affairs prompted one group chief, Kemper McDowell, to warn throughout final week’s metropolis council assembly that Paterson might develop into the Amsterdam of Passaic County — a reference to the Dutch metropolis lengthy identified for its hashish tourism.
McDowell, who’s in command of the Paterson college district’s household engagement division, stated he has seen first-hand the devastating impression of medication on Paterson’s youngsters.
“Don’t let our Wall Avenue moneymakers create a top quality of life that we are able to’t take care of,” McDowell informed the council.
Virtually two years in the past, leaders in Paterson’s Islamic group spoke out forcefully towards a plan to permit a medical-marijuana firm open a hashish cultivation and manufacturing facility in South Paterson. That operation ended up opening in a distinct a part of the town, however officers stated the group opposition was not the reason for the change in location.
Metropolis Council President Maritza Davila, who convened Tuesday’s personal assembly in regards to the marijuana marketing strategy, stated she nonetheless has many questions on the proposal. Davila stated the proposed ordinance should funnel the marijuana charges and taxes just for particular functions, just like the enforcement of the hashish companies and recreation for Paterson’s youth.
Davila stated she hasn’t determined whether or not she helps the plan. However she doesn’t have a lot time to make up her thoughts.
Beneath the state legislation legalizing marijuana, municipalities have till Aug. 21 to undertake native ordinances regulating and taxing the institutions. If the town doesn’t act by then, there could be no native laws and Paterson must wait 5 years earlier than it might impose any, below the legislation.
“If we don’t do one thing, it’s extensive open,” stated Paterson Public Security Director Jerry Speziale. “It’s just like the Wild West.”
The hashish plan — like all metropolis ordinances — would require affirmative votes by the town council at two separate conferences in addition to a public listening to. That provides Paterson little or no time to spare if the town goes to enact its personal laws, officers stated.
Joe Malinconico is editor of Paterson Press. E-mail: email@example.com