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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Cannabis Task Force is drafting an ordinance on cannabis licensing, property rights, and tax revenue

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At a virtual Cannabis Task Force (CTF) meeting Thursday, the committee focused on drafting an ordinance of the CTC’s recommendations when it comes to cannabis licensing and dispensaries in Princeton, as well as the research, standards, tax revenue, education and fairness behind it. .

board member Eve Niedergang GS ’85 He stated that the purpose of the decree was to “answer where [the CTF] on key recommendations, responding to comments from the public to date, and addressing the concerns of those who believe it increases crime rates.”

This will be the first public document distributed by the Trade Task Force.

Council member and visiting lecturer on public and international affairs, Udi Ofer stated that “[the document] They will be scrutinized, rightly.” He also expressed concerns that the document “must be forthright” so as to deal with issues that are high on the minds of many Princeton residents.

The main issue that came up during the meeting was the number of licenses to be filed in the City of Princeton. in a previous meeting, The CTC has decided on three licenses but plans to be selective in selecting retailers for the city.

Nedergang expressed his concerns that “three [licenses] may not provide competition,” and that having one or two licenses would create more competition.

Council member Milan Vaclavic said the longer the CTF waits to make a retail recommendation for adult use, the more likely it will be for retailers to go to different communities.

Councilman Hugh O’Brien added that elsewhere in the state, Hackensack currently has one dispensary planned but four applicants, and New Brunswick has three dispensaries and 10 applicants. He said he believes that given that the state’s application is not yet available, the number of applicants is lower.

Council member Colin Exeter added, “If Princeton decides to take a junior license, it will open up the opportunity for more applicants.”

Another notable issue raised during the meeting is whether it is a challenge for those who wish to open a dispensary in the city to find a location or find someone willing to rent to them.

Councilman Andrew Siegel stated that “the owners are totally mixed up,” with some not interested in renting out cannabis dispensaries and others talking about the idea. He said he thought many realtors were “50/50” on the issue.

Council member Abigail Kalmbach added that many retailers and landlords “don’t want to deal with cannabis.”

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Siegel wrote in the Zoom chat that “some who say they don’t want to do it because of the stigma behind it, but more importantly there is an operational aspect… cash only, security, construction, insurance and a lot to think about for potential owners.”

At the meeting, Kalmbach explained how if a potential dispensary site is mortgaged, the bank needs to sign a lease and that national banks will not allow the space to be leased out to a “factory touch” company.

Ofer defended the CTF’s involvement with landlords and landlords on the matter, and to take the issue “out of the shadows.”

The CTC voted the quorum and maintained its previous sense that all dispensaries should be at least 200 feet from schools, with nine out of 12 members agreeing with that recommendation.

Another issue voted on is whether or not there should be an additional requirement to make only one cannabis Area. Seven members of the Council agreed with this proposal; However, the committee will wait until the next meeting to finalize the proposal.

Members also discussed whether the commission should remove the draft decree from a provision providing for the use of tax money from dispensaries to achieve social or restorative justice.

Ofer stated that the reason for the legalization of marijuana by Governor Phil Murphy was to recognize that the war on drugs had failed and created a devastating effect on communities. Ofer said that having a section in the draft explaining the intent to tie the revenue stream from marijuana sales to address the war on drugs “gives moral high ground” for the committee and “shields.” [the CTF] From the public criticizing our decision.”

This issue will be voted on at the next meeting.

A final issue discussed was whether the CTC should continue to focus solely on providing retail licenses or looking at other types of licenses, both now and in the future. Niedergang stated that they “have not explicitly excluded other types of licenses but are focusing on retail.”

The Board also discussed the possibility of issuing retail licenses that offer home delivery and whether small licenses were a viable option.

O’Bearn added that he imagines there will be a requirement that the handover be a separate issue and that they need to see if there is an issue with vertical integration. He also stated that he was skeptical of mini-licenses, because they “only released the license publicly”.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee will continue to amend its draft recommendations at its next meeting on Thursday, November 11th.

Leah Oberman is a news writer for The Prince. She can be reached at liaopperman@princeton.edu or liamariaaaa on Instagram.



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